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Quantum physics theory is easier to understand than you think


Wrapping your head around quantum physics is tricky, no matter how well-educated you are -- if it were easy, there wouldn't be problems making quantum computers. However, researchers at the National University of Singapore believe they've found a way to make things simpler. They've determined that wave-particle duality (where quantum objects behave like waves) is really a manifestation of the uncertainty principle, which limits your ability to know two related properties of a quantum particle. As it turns out, you can rework the math for wave-particle duality to apply to certain uncertainty relations. They're just two sides of the same coin.

Are quantum mechanics still complicated? Certainly. If the discovery holds up, though, it could take a some of the mystery out of what has previously been an arcane system. The long term impact is hard to nail down, but the university believes that it could lead to new approaches to quantum cryptography. If you see a sudden rise in ultra-secure internet communications, you'll know who to thank.

[Image credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore]

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