Quantum Particles Are Like This Balloon
The tricky thing is to isolate them in a way that doesn't expose them to non-quantum particles, but also lets you see what's going on.
David Wineland does that by trapping ions and bombarding them with photons.
Serge Haroche, the other winner, did the same thing by trapping photons and sending ions after them.
And now they both get $600,000 to keep doing it.
These observations are the key toward building a quantum computer, a theoretical setup that would supply infinite processing power.
Still got questions? Here's a longer, non-GIF explanation.