A research group consisting of researches from Stockholm University, Germany and Spain have been noticed for their work using a series of “weak” measurements to probe the nature of superposition collapse in quantum mechanics. Their findings sheds new light onto the inner workings of Nature. 

While the act of measurement usually forces quantum systems into definite classical states, the work of Markus Hennrich and colleagues showed that some measurements do not destroy all quantum information. By taking a series of “snapshots” during experiments on a single ion of strontium, the team revealed that measurements are not instantaneous, but instead gradually convert superposition states into classical ones. Because weak measurements could in principle allow errors to be detected in quantum states without destroying those states in the process, the work might be used to improve error correction in quantum computers.

You can read the full citation – and those of the other nine finalists – on Physics World website.

More information and an illustrative figure can also be found here.