Why quantum mechanics is so hard to understand

In order to demystify quantum mechanics, you have to build a lot of technical machinery from scratch. Box by box, you have to develop control systems for the quantum world. Without that, entanglement and other forms of “quantum weirdness” don’t readily present themselves.

I’m an atomic physicist, which means I spend most of my time building an absurdly complex, room-sized machine for quantum mechanical science experiments. With all its tangled wires and aluminum-foil-wrapped vacuum components, my lab looks like a space station in disrepair. In spite…