Associate Professor of Theoretical Physics Xie Chen is a member of the newly established Simons Collaboration on Ultra-Quantum Matter. The collaboration will study fundamentally quantum mechanical behavior of matter, in systems like metals, magnets, superconductors, etc. “One of the biggest surprises of quantum mechanics is entanglement — the spooky action at a distance,” Xie says. “Now more than eighty years after its discovery, we have learned not only to accept the concept, but also to embrace it and to explore it at the next level where thousands or millions or even more atoms and electrons in a macroscopic matter are entangled together and participate in the ‘spooky action’ in a collective way.” Such ultra-quantum matter (UQM) defies conventional expectations that quantum effects are important only in very small systems. It allows for entirely new physical properties, which may help future technologies by enabling the nonlocal storage of quantum information, and the creation of quantum materials with new functionalities.