Building a bridge to the quantum world

phys.org | 2/9/2018 | Staff
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Entanglement is one of the main principles of quantum mechanics. Physicists from Professor Johannes Fink's research group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have found a way to use a mechanical oscillator to produce entangled radiation. This method, which the authors published in the current edition of Nature, might prove extremely useful when it comes to connecting quantum computers.

Entanglement is a phenomenon typical of the quantum world, which is not present in the so-called classical world—the world and laws of physics that govern our everyday lives. When two particles are entangled, the characteristics of one particle can be determined by looking at the other. This was discovered by Einstein, and the phenomenon is now actively used in quantum cryptography, where it is said to lead to unbreakable codes. Radiation can also be entangled: This is the phenomenon that Shabir Barzanjeh, a postdoc in the group of Professor Fink at IST Austria and first author of the study, is currently researching.

Box - Exits - Exits - Radiation - Exit

"Imagine a box with two exits. If the exits are entangled, one can characterize the radiation coming out of one exit by looking at the other," he explains. Entangled radiation has been created before, but in this study, a mechanical object was used for the first time. With a length of 30 micrometers and composed of about a trillion (1012) atoms, the silicon beam created by the group is large on a quantum scale. "For me, this experiment was interesting on a fundamental level," says Barzanjeh. "The question was: Can one use such a large system to produce non-classical radiation? Now, we know that the answer is yes."

But the device also has practical value. Mechanical oscillators could serve as a link between the extremely sensitive quantum computers and optical fibers connecting them inside data centers and beyond....
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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