Destined never to relax: A theoretical study on quantum systems
A quantum system never relaxes. An isolated system (like a cloud of cold atoms trapped in optical grids) will endlessly oscillate between its different configurations without ever finding peace. In practice, these types of systems are unable to dissipate energy in any form.
This is the exact opposite of what happens in classical physics, where the tendency to reach a state of equilibrium is such a fundamental drive that is has been made a fundamental law of physics, i.e., the second law of thermodynamics, which introduces the concept of entropy.
This profound difference is the subject of a study published in Physical Review A, conducted with the collaboration of the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste and the University of Oxford. Giuseppe Mussardo, professor at SISSA, together with Milosz Panfil, SISSA research fellow, and Fabian Essler from the University of Oxford carried out a theoretical analysis with which they demonstrated the peculiarity of one-dimensional quantum systems, as well as explaining the non-local nature of these systems.
"The main point of our work was not only realizing the dramatic difference between classical and quantum reality," explains Mussardo, "but also discovering the existence of quantum systems that are extremely robust with respect to any external stimulus, thanks to their specific laws of symmetry.
These laws, in particular, demand not only the conservation of energy but also of innumerable other quantities, which maintain the same value over time as a result".
Mussardo and colleagues also made another discovery: to be able to predict the evolution of quantum systems and their statistical characteristics, we should think of them as being defined not by every point in space (and therefore continuous) but only by discrete points.
It is as if these systems lived "intrinsically" on a grid, explains Mussardo (who also adds that "this came as a big surprise"), "so that on a large scale we have to take into account non-local effects".
This study, as well as shedding light on some peculiar effects revealed by recent experiments on mixtures of cold atoms and spin chains, opens up interesting scenarios on the control of extensive quantum systems and their use for future memory architectures and quantum algorithms.
Federica Sgorbissa | EurekAlert!
Scientists discover particles similar to Majorana fermions
25.10.2016 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters
Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering