In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger created a thought experiment now known as Schrödinger’s Cat. The idea is to put a cat in a box and give it a 50-50 chance of living or dying. However, using quantum physics, the cat would be neither alive nor dead until you actually opened the box to look inside.
Now a team of German, Italian, and American researchers have built the actual experiment with twenty qubits—units of quantum information, like a binary bit displaying a 0 or a 1 as information.
“Qubits in the cat state are considered extremely important for the development of quantum technologies,” explains Jian Cui, a physicist from the Peter Grünberg Institute at Jülich.