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A team of physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) has used a technique known as ‘ghost imaging’ to create an image of an object from atoms that never interact with it.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE) said the experiment relied on correlated pairs of atoms. “One atom in each pair was directed towards a mask with the letters ‘ANU’ cut-out,” Associate Professor Truscott said. “Only atoms that pass through the mask reach a ‘bucket’ detector placed behind the mask, which records a ‘ping’ each time an atom hits it.

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The second atom in the pair records a ‘ping’ along with the atom’s location on a second spatial detector. “By matching the times of the ‘pings’ from pairs of atoms we were able to discard all atoms hitting the spatial detector whose partner had not passed through the mask.

“This allowed an image of ‘ANU’ to be recreated, even though – remarkably – the atoms forming the image on the spatial detector had never interacted with the mask. That’s why the image is termed a ‘ghost’.” (1)

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Atoms interacting atoms. Everywhere. From Earth to the corners of the vast universe, ghosts appear all the time. Photos and electrons from the beginning of time interact and leave their trace until the end of the cosmos. In a way, everything we see and feel is the result of what was in the beginning. Everything happening at the beginning of time were the result of things happened to the atoms of the universe at the end of its life. Quantum interactions know no limitations. They are instant and pass through any barrier we have come to believe to. Everything is interconnected, affecting everything, beyond the borders of time and space.

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Look around.

There are ghosts everywhere.

This is not just quantum mechanics.

This is life. This is philosophy.

See that glow in your heart.

It is not you. It is the universe.

Born.

Dying.

Being.

More alive than ever…

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