Early in life, we start to learn the rules of this world. We memorize simple lessons — like “what goes up, must come down” — that help us begin to make sense of our world. In time, we’re no longer surprised that rain is wet, food can spoil or the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
But more than a century ago, scientists started to learn that all of those rules, patterns and lessons lie on a foundation that, to us, might seem filled with contradictions, confusion and chance. That foundation is quantum mechanics. It describes how all of the material in the universe, from stars and galaxies to blades of grass and Belgian waffles, behaves at the subatomic level.
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