Schrödinger’s cat is a well-known thought experiment according to which a cat placed in lead box can be both dead and alive at the same time, as we have no means to know which is which. The strange phenomenon is caused by quantum mechanics.
Researchers at the University of Exeter in England have discovered that a like-wise state for temperatures can exist. They theorize that an object can have two different temperatures at the same moment when you look at the quantum level. The strange quantum paradox may be the first original quantum uncertainty decades in several decades.
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle proposed in 1927 by physicist Werner Heisenberg notes that as you try harder to measure the exact position of a quantum particles position, the measure of its momentum will become more inaccurate and vice versa.
Recently discovered, the new quantum uncertainty principle states that the more you try to determine the exact temperature of a particle, the less likely you are to find accurate measurement when you focus on its energy level and vice versa. The new discovery may improve several domains such as nanoscience, a type of science that focuses on objects which are smaller than a nanometer. It may also change the way in which temperature for extremely small objects such as quantum dots, conductors or single cells is measured, in order to find better methods that could display a superior result.
A precursor theory was developed by Heisenberg and physicist Niels Bohr that noted an uncertainty relation between the energy and temperature of objects that are not on the quantum scale. They considered that the most accurate way of measuring the temperature of an object was to insert it in a medium with a known temperature and observe how it changed. This is the principle of thermal equilibrium.
The only problem was that the object and the medium are transferring energy in order to maintain the equilibrium, which renders the measurement of energy impossible. In order to prevent the energy transfer, you will need to insulate the object, and you will not be able to measure the temperature after.
A common thermometer may show a temperature between 31 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit (-05, and 0 in Celsius). Due to phenomenon called superposition, a quantum thermometer may show both temperatures at the same time because it is situated between several states of energy.
The paper has been recently published in a peer-reviewed journal.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.