Research conducted at the University of Bonn has shown that quantum mechanics can split a single atom into its component halves, and then put the parts back together.
The Bonn scientists successfully managed to keep the two components apart at a distance of more than ten micrometers, a large distance for a microscopic atom.
The process can only occur at extremely low temperatures. It is impossible to image the splitting phenomenon directly because shining a light on the atom will halt the splitting, so researchers measured the magnetic fields of the two positions and then calculated the difference to determine the atom’s movement.
The findings could lead to advances in capturing images of complex quantum systems, such as plant photosynthesis or topological isolators. Splitting atoms and then putting them back together allows the atoms to come in contact with other atoms, allowing networks of these atoms to form in order to manipulate real systems. These findings are expected to be very insightful in regards to creating novel electronics.
Source: Science Daily