- 2 years ago
The principles of quantum mechanics dictate that a system exists in something called a “superposition”, or all possible states, until we measure it. Measurement forces the pieces of the system to declare one specific state. In the case of cats in boxes rigged with poison, this means that until we look, the cat is dead AND alive (check out MinutePhysics’ awesome video about this for more).
Berkeley scientists have reported that they were able to indirectly and weakly make measurements about the state of a quantum bit without disturbing it, effectively taking a squinty-eyed look inside Schrödinger’s box, and quickly closing the lid. It’s not a full-blown observation of a quantum state, but it shows that we can measure certain properties of quantum computing bits without forcing them to be “dead or alive”.
(More at New Scientist)