Being interested in quantum physics can bring just as many headaches as it does fascinating discoveries. For every headline you read that makes your brain and heart race with excitement, there could be another that sounds like a foreign language.
How do you make sense out of the headlines coming from the world of quantum physics? One of the best ways to approach the subject is to explore it through familiar channels. If you explore existing websites that touch on the subject, along with dedicated websites for quantum physics news, you can get the best of both worlds.
How Can I Explore Quantum Physics News?
A complex subject area such as quantum physics already places you in a niche for journalism. In today’s world of celebrity-obsessed media coverage, the latest advances in nuclear energy and the deepest edges of space will barely register on the radar of news.
In the case of a simple Google search, it’s never a sure thing where your news will originate. Thanks to search engine parameters, you might come up with a blog from months or years ago that carefully selected phrases and keywords to link you.
By sticking to the same websites where you can find reliable information, as well as news in the correct subject, you can be sure that you’re getting the stories you want.
Where Are Some of the Best Places for Quantum Physics News?
Trusting the correct websites will get you access to the best headlines you can read. The websites below will give you great stories and keep you informed while stimulating your brain.
This physics-based website might look a bit cluttered at first, but one glance at the headlines and you’ll know Phys.org is legitimate. A simple search for “quantum physics” in their box reveals a wealth of results, some as recent as only hours ago.
The layout of the site is a bit clogged, with ads permeating throughout the top of the page. You’ll find the usual advertisements that follow you around the internet based on your search history. Don’t be surprised to see a banner for your favorite tea as you read up on superconductivity.
Phys.org covers many other areas in the scientific community aside from quantum physics. Their have dedicated sections for nanotechnology, astronomy, analytical chemistry, and microbiology.
You won’t find a lot of visual flair on this place, but that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with this subject matter. You aren’t here for flashy animation or audio-enhanced headlines.
A popular publication for decades, Scientific American publishes its quantum physics stories along with everything headline-worthy under an appropriate topic. You can find all the categories you need on the main page, as each story comes with an attached section directly above it.
You’ll also find the most popular stories front and center. You can navigate each section along the top header of the page, conveniently separated into areas such as the sciences, sustainability, and tech.
There’s a link in the top left corner for those who might be interested in having Scientific American delivered right to your mail. Even though the most up to date stories will always be online, there’s something refreshing about opening a physical magazine. At times, you might find quantum physics stories exclusive to the print edition of the publication.
Primarily associated with tech-based stories, Wired also publishes content from the quantum physics world. A 2017 article discussed the possibility of physicists looking to rebuild the entirety of quantum theory from the very beginning.
Wired’s website is very mobile-friendly, separated into each section along the top of the screen. You can find the science section in the center, while culture and transportation book end it on either side.
Much like Scientific American, the option exists for you to subscribe to Wired right on the website.
What Else Should I Know about Quantum Physics News?
If you plan to follow the headlines in quantum physics, it helps to remember some of the essentials behind the science. A quick review of the concepts behind the field will help you understand what is happening in each headline.
Waves and Particles
According to the basic concepts of quantum physics, everything in the universe exists in particle and wave nature. Real objects being described in nothing more than particles and waves is a very simplified way of explaining it, but essentially, objects described in quantum physics share properties of both.
Those in physics education freely debate whether it’s okay to discuss a light as a particle. While light does contain aspects of particles, the problem comes from referring to photons as another term that might confuse introductory students.
Terminology has always been a tough sell in physics. As far back as the Higgs boson, you can hear physicists discussing the Higgs field as a sort of delocalized area which fills all of space. In collider experiments, you can discuss the Higgs field by emphasizing particles, but in other areas it’s better to stress the interactions with a field.
Using Discrete Values
The word “quantum” comes from the Latin for “How much?” and should explain the nature of the name. The energy you can find in a quantum field uses integer multiples with some sort of energy. In the case of light, it gets measured in frequencies and wavelengths.
Quantum physics won’t deal with fractions or square roots when taking measurements. You’ll notice this in the energy bands of solids, where specific amounts of energy can be allowed while others are outlawed.
Have you seen an atomic clock? They work thanks to the discreteness used within the field of quantum physics. You can also use extremely precise spectroscopy to look for dark matter, and that is why a low-energy fundamental physics institute is one of the goals of research.
Gamblers know when to hold and when to fold. Quantum physics, as it turns out, can be described as one big crap shoot. Despite all of the literature and journals published over the years, quantum physics news is still written with a healthy amount of uncertainty.
Predicting the outcome of one experiment in quantum physics is impossible. You’ll see comparisons between theory and experiment that seek to find probability distributions that come from the same repeated experiments.
Mathematically, you’ll find a quantum system described as a wavefunction. There still isn’t any agreement about what it represents, and opinions will fall into two different camps. Either the wavefunction is a physical thing, or an expression for an idea contained within human knowledge.
Either way, the probability of finding a specific outcome cannot be given by a wavefunction, but you will find it by squaring the wavefunction. This is how we find particles in multiple states at once. If only the probability is predictable, whatever is measured exists in a constant
Ultimately, this leaves it up to you to decide whether you think the system exists in all states at once, or if it exists in one unknown state.
Quantum physics is a very micro science, so much that you would be forgiven if you didn’t understand what the big appeal is. Any anomalies you would encounter in quantum physics news can be found on the atomic level, where the velocity and mass are so small that you can visibly see wavelengths.
Several ideas have been presented on how to raise this scope to a higher level. There have been experiments to show wave-like behavior in larger molecules, and the use of light in chunks of silicon to demonstrate the clarity of discrete quantum nature.
Enjoying the World of Quantum Physics News
Because the nature of quantum physics is so unpredictable, there is no telling what headlines could pop up on any given day. Even with a dedicated following, you could find yourself confused over the latest report from your go-to news location.
Fully understanding where news is reported and how to interpret stories on quantum physics should be your first priority. Passion for learning about the subject is great, but it won’t get you anywhere if you don’t have a solid grasp on the terminology.
You also need to be careful about branching too deep into the world of hypotheticals. Reading news stories from people who are not proven experts in their field will lead you astray. You don’t want to get news from a supposed expert who turns out to be a glorified blogger with a sharp eye for wordplay.
In the end, quantum physics news doesn’t lend itself to very much trolling or other false reporting. Those in the community are genuinely excited about their findings, or else they wouldn’t be spending all day in a lab. Keep your eyes on trusted news sources, as well as the publications directly from research institutions.
Just being interested in quantum physics news gives you access to a secret club that not many are a part of, and you can take comfort knowing that each story is as niche as other interests.