Property-free atom

Scientists at the University of Basel, Switzerland and colleagues in Singapore, have observed Bell correlations between hundreds of ultracold atoms, which suggests that in the quantum world, the atoms only take on their properties at the time of observation. Until then, they essentially have no properties. Roman Schmied explains: “One would expect that random collisions simply cause disorder. Instead, the quantum-mechanical properties become entangled so strongly that they violate classical statistics.” This is fundamental science that could have important implications for understanding and manipulating the atomic world in quantum computing, encryption and other areas.