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Learning Is Good For You: Bizarre Quantum Tunneling

Most people have heard this trivia question: What were the first words spoken over a telephone? "Mr.Watson I need you". But, do you know what the first Faster-Than-Light transmission of information was? It was a piece of Mozart's 40th symphony transmitted through a 4.5 inch barrier (11.4 cm), at 4.7 times the speed of light. It was a FM microwave signal (a? an? is it "an" FM? hrm...), and the received signal came out as music. The information did not actually traverse the distance through the barrier, it appeared on the other side.

Did you know that these strange and exotic properties of quantum physics are utilized by many everyday electronic gadgets all around you? Your little flash-memory thumb-drive uses quantum tunneling to erase the stored information. Hard-disk drives use it. Even the simplest and most primitive bits of electronic hardware would not work without quantum tunneli

Added: Sep-21-2010 
Tags: science, quantum physics, quantum tunneling
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