Quantum spooks

If you have an interest in spooky physics you'll appreciate this. According to a January 6 Wall Street Journal article, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, have managed to spin six separate atoms clockwise and counter-clockwise at the same time.

Big deal. It's your standard issue quantum specter.

No that's not it.

They've also managed to entangle the spinning atoms, which means, following another bit of physics spookiness, the entangled atoms act as one whenever a single atom is observed. One stops, they all stop. NIST has a graphic illustrating the point here.

Still not it.

Try this. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, have managed to do the same thing on a larger scale, entangling two groups of 100,000 atoms some 10 feet apart.

It's just a hunch, but I'm guessing that 10 feet is not the limit here.

Just how do you describe something whose combined essence changes merely in the observation? Real? Not real? Here? There? Is there a land between?

The title of the article is "The Magical Behavior of Subatomic Particles Moves into the Real World." I dunno. Just who's visiting whom seems to be an open question. 

Technorati tags: atoms, quantum physics