If you think back to high school, you may remember some of the laws of classical physics, like Newton’s third law of motion. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Intuitive laws like these form the basis of classical physics and they’re all true… except when you get to the smallest units in the universe.
This is the domain of what’s known as quantum mechanics. It’s how particles smaller than atoms interact with each other. And at this minuscule scale, entirely different laws of physics apply. In fact, it may be possible for one particle to be in different places, at the same time.
It’s a difficult concept for anyone to understand.
But understanding how subatomic particles interact could lead to major technological leaps.
In fact, researchers are already studying how quantum mechanics could lead to breakthroughs in supercomputing, encryption, and even medical treatment.
But in the race to harness quantum technology, the U.S. may be falling behind. Christopher Booker reports.