A new paper by a team of researchers led by University of Notre Dame physicist Bolizsár Jankó provides an overview of research into one of the few remaining unsolved problems of quantum mechanics.
More than a century ago, at the dawn of modern quantum mechanics, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Neils Bohr predicted so-called quantum jumps. He predicted that these jumps would be due to electrons making transitions between discrete energy levels of individual atoms and molecules. Although controversial in Bohr's time, such quantum jumps were experimentally observed, and his prediction verified, in the 1980s. More recently, with the development of single molecule imaging techniques in the early 1990s, it has been possible to observe similar jumps in individual molecules.