Hooray for science! Berkeley physicists
have managed to probe the state of a quantum object without collapsing
it – the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrödinger's cat without
Researchers had suggested it should be possible, in principle, to make
measurements that are "gentle" enough not to destroy the superposition.
The idea was to measure something less direct than whether the bit is
a 1 or a 0 – the equivalent of looking at Schrödinger's cat
through blurry glasses. This wouldn't allow you to gain a "strong"
piece of information – whether the cat was alive or dead –
but you might be able to detect other properties.
Now, R. Vijay of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues
have managed to create a working equivalent of those blurry glasses.
"We only partially open the box," says Vijay.
Because this is quantum physics, however, such an action comes with a
price, which you can read over at The New Scientist: Link