Quantum realm

Quantum realm

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Quantum realm is a term of art in physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 referring to scales where quantum mechanical
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

 effects become important . Typically, this means distances of 100 nanometers (nm) or less. Not coincidentally, this is the same scale as nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

.

While originating on the nanometer scale, such effects can operate on a macro level. The classic example is electron tunneling. Most fundamental processes in molecular electronics
Molecular electronics
Molecular electronics, sometimes called moletronics, involves the study and application of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components...

, organic electronics
Organic electronics
Organic electronics, plastic electronics or polymer electronics, is a branch of electronics dealing with conductive polymers, plastics, or small molecules. It is called 'organic' electronics because the polymers and small molecules are carbon-based...

 and organic semiconductor
Organic semiconductor
An organic semiconductor is an organic material with semiconductor properties. Single molecules, short chain and organic polymers can be semiconductive. Semiconducting small molecules include the polycyclic aromatic compounds pentacene, anthracene, and rubrene...

s also originate in the quantum realm.

The quantum realm can also sometimes paradoxically involve actions at long distances
Quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement occurs when electrons, molecules even as large as "buckyballs", photons, etc., interact physically and then become separated; the type of interaction is such that each resulting member of a pair is properly described by the same quantum mechanical description , which is...

. A well-known example is David Bohm
David Bohm
David Joseph Bohm FRS was an American-born British quantum physicist who contributed to theoretical physics, philosophy, neuropsychology, and the Manhattan Project.-Youth and college:...

's (1951) version of the famous thought experiment
Thought experiment
A thought experiment or Gedankenexperiment considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences...

 that Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen proposed in 1935 (EPR paradox
EPR paradox
The EPR paradox is a topic in quantum physics and the philosophy of science concerning the measurement and description of microscopic systems by the methods of quantum physics...

). Pairs of particles are emitted from a source in the so-called spin singlet state and rush in opposite directions. When the particles are widely separated from each other, they each encounter a measuring apparatus that can be set to measure their spin components along various directions. Although the measurement events are distant from each other, so that no slower-than-light or light signal can travel between them, the measurement outcomes are curiously correlated.