Proof of quantum wave nature and interference in large organic molecules is reported in this week’s Nature Communications. The findings may be a step towards reducing interference on a bigger scale than previously achieved.
Quantum interference, whereby individual particles in wave form can interfere with the direction in which they are travelling, is one of the most challenging concepts in quantum theory. Improving the understanding of such principles is of value in the field of quantum information science, which has applications in quantum computing.
Markus Arndt and colleagues observed quantum wave characteristics in molecules composed of up to 430 atoms. They demonstrate that, in complex systems with more than 1,000 internal degrees of freedom, high quantum coherence can be accomplished. These findings open a new window for quantum experiments with nanoparticles in a complexity class comparable to that of small proteins.