An atom has been split into halves, separated, and then put back together, in new research from the University of Bonn. The word “atom” literally means “indivisible,” yet quantum mechanics allows an atom to be split and put back together in a way similar to rays of light.
The researchers are doing this work because they want to build quantum mechanics bridges, by letting the atom being pulled apart touch adjacent atoms, forming a bridge between them.
Dividing atoms brings to mind things like nuclear fission and radiation. However, this is a completely different process. The laws of quantum mechanics allow something to exist in several different states at once. This is what the “double-slit” experiment is based on, an object going to two separate slits at once.