What exactly is the quantum world? We hear that expression all the time these days, but we’re told it’s something we cannot see because it’s so impossibly small — smaller than a single atom. On the subatomic level, amazing things can happen — things we never see happen in ordinary lives. Single particles can be in two or more places at once, and entangles particles can transmit information between each other over vast distances faster than the speed of light.
These phenomena have been tested and observed by many scientists, but it can still be hard to believe in such facts when you can’t see these things for yourself — unless you happen to have an electron microscope stashed away in your attic. Well, what if I told you there was actually a way you could catch a glimpse of the quantum world at work with just your naked eye?
You know how when you see your reflection in a pane of glass, you can also see through the glass to see what’s behind it? It’s like you’re both seeing the glass and seeing through it simultaneously, which is essentially what you are in fact doing. But how can this be? It seems like the only way this could be possible is if some of the light photons are passing through the glass while others reflect off the glass. But then how would the photons know whether to pass through or bounce off? The answer is they don’t have to; they are both passing through and reflecting off of the glass simultaneously — the photons are existing in two places at once.
So, the next time you see a reflection in a piece of glass and look through it at the same time, you can remember that you’re watching photons exist in two places at once — something that can normally only be observed on the quantum level. MIT professor, Max Tegmark, explains this, as well as many other interesting facts about space, time, and the quantum world.
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