Exploring ‘the most spooky, weird kind of science’

In my work as a quantum engineer, I wear two hats. At the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London, where this photo was taken in April, I research quantum metrology, the scientific study of measurements based on quantum-physics principles. The instrument in this image is a dilution refrigerator, which allows us to cool our semiconductor quantum devices to 0.007 kelvin: that’s a fraction of a degree above absolute zero (−273.15 °C), a temperature that, in nature, exists nowhere in the Universe.

In experiments at the NPL, we clock the transfer of single electrons so accurately that I know exactly how

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