Scientists have discovered a bizarre form of quantum movement in the electrons that orbit atoms.
Electrons swirl around atoms in layers, and new research shows that electrons can teleport from one layer to another using quantum motion.
Electrons were caught disappearing from the top layer of an atom and reappearing on the bottom layer a fraction of a second later, without any evidence of existing in between.
The find could help researchers to develop hyper-efficient solar panels and batteries.
WHAT IS QUANTUM MECHANICS?
Quantum mechanics refers to the branch of physics that deals with the tiny, ‘subatomic’ particles – including electrons.
When looked at through the lense of classical mechanics, these particles do not move in a predictable way like a car or meteor.
In classical mechanics, objects exist in a specific place at a specific time.
But in quantum mechanics, particles can exist in a haze of probability – there is a chance they will be at point A and a different chance it will be at point B etc.
Particles can therefore ‘exist’ in two places at the same, making them very difficult to study.