First, The 'molecular octopus': A little brother of 'Schroedinger’s cat'
For the first time, the quantum behaviour of molecules consisting of more than 400 atoms was demonstrated by quantum physicists based at the University of Vienna in collaboration with chemists from Basel and Delaware. The international and interdisciplinary team of scientists has set a new record in the verification of the quantum properties of nanoparticles.So it's both there and somewhere else at the same time. Now it's OK for subatomic particles to do this, even individual atoms, bose-einstein condensates where bosons all occupy the same place, but now we're demonstrating it in molecules big enough to comprehend.
In quantum physics, the propagation of massive particles is described by means of matter waves. In a certain sense, this means that the particles loose their classical property of a well-defined position and their quantum wave function can extend simultaneously over a large area. Formally, this state resembles that of a cat that is at the same time dead and alive. In quantum physics this is called a 'superposition'.
The use of specifically synthesized organic molecules consisting of complexes of up to 430 atoms enabled the researchers to demonstrate the quantum wave nature in mass and size regimes that hitherto had been experimentally inaccessible. These particles are comparable in size, mass and complexity to Insulin molecules and exhibit many features of classical objects. Nevertheless, in the current experiment the tailor-made molecules can exist in a superposition of clearly distinguishable positions and therefore -- similar to 'Schroedinger's cat' -- in a state that is excluded in classical physics.