How to See Quantum with the Naked Eye


How can you train yourself to be a quantum detector? Quantum interactions happen at impossibly small scales. But the life-size effects are all around you. You can detect quantum mechanics all over — if you know how to look for it.


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Check out, who was kind enough to share his water wave animation with us.

ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC NOTE: Quantum mechanics would be much more obvious if we had very sensitive eyes. If your eyes identified each photon individually, you would see them land as described in the video, and only build up to this wave pattern. The pattern that we see can be explained classically by waves, it is *ultimately* a quantum phenomenon. The only reason it’s hard to tell is because our light detectors (eyes) aren’t quite sensitive enough.


Host, Producer: Greg Kestin

Researcher: Samia Bouzid

Writers: Samia Bouzid, Greg Kestin

Scientific Consultant: Louis Deslauriers

Editorial Input from: Julia Cort, Ari Daniel

Animation and Editing: Greg Kestin

Special thanks: Entire NOVA team

From the producers of PBS NOVA © WGBH Educational Foundation

Funding provided by FQXi

Music provided by APM

Footage of bridge and man holding child: Videoblocks

Sound effects:

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