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Horrible headline but it is a nice bit of science and it is certainly true that improvements in our ability to sense and measure the world almost always lead to breakthroughs in other areas. As this will be a laboratory tool, it won’t be high profile, but behind the scenes there will be researchers salivating at the prospect of using it.
ELI5: To see really small things you increase the power of a laser fired at the target. To much power and you destroy what you are looking at. Using quantum effects you can see more with less power, particularly relevant when looking at biological samples. This improvement will be of a lot of interest in people studying organic chemistry and biochemistry (though it is more widely applicable).
It sounds neat but I was hoping they would do a better job explaining how it works. Not that a dummy like me would understand 😅.
From the paper:
> Randomness in the times that photons are detected introduces shot noise, which fundamentally constrains sensitivity, resolution and speed1. Although the long-established solution to this problem is to increase the intensity of the illumination light, this is not always possible when investigating living systems, because bright lasers can severely disturb biological processes. Theory predicts that biological imaging may be improved without increasing light intensity by using quantum photon correlations. Here we experimentally show that quantum correlations allow a signal-to-noise ratio beyond the photodamage limit of conventional microscopy. Our microscope is a coherent Raman microscope that offers subwavelength resolution and incorporates bright quantum correlated illumination. The correlations allow imaging of molecular bonds within a cell with a 35 per cent improved signal-to-noise ratio compared with conventional microscopy.
So why not say that, rather than waffly generalisations?
If it’s achievable then it’s not really impossible. New headline. Researchers create quantum microscope that can see hard to see things.
The fact they make great claims without an explanation as to know it even works is suspicious to me.