Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exotic Quantum States: A New Research Approach

03.10.2011
Theoretical physicists of the University of Innsbruck have formulated a new concept to engineer exotic, so-called topological states of matter in quantum mechanical many-body systems.

They linked concepts of quantum optics and condensed matter physics and show a direction to build a quantum computer which is immune against perturbations. The scientists have published their work in the journal Nature Physics.


Majorana fermions are then generated at both ends of the atomic chain. Graphics: H. Ritsch

Three years ago a research team led by Sebastian Diehl and Peter Zoller presented a completely new approach to engineer quantum states in many-body systems. They used a physical phenomenon that normally increases the degree of disorder in a system dramatically: dissipation. In classical physics dissipation is the concept that explains the production of heat through friction. Surprisingly, in quantum physics dissipation can also lead to order and a completely pure many-body state can be realized. This spring an Innsbruck research team, led by experimental physicist Rainer Blatt, demonstrated experimentally that by using dissipation certain quantum effects can be generated and intensified. By linking concepts of quantum optics and condensed matter physics, theoretical physicists from the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have now pointed out a new direction of how dissipation may be used in another beneficial and promising way.

Immune against perturbations

In condensed matter physics a new concept to describe order in many-body systems has gained in importance recently: topological order. Two examples for topological phenomena are the quantum Hall effect, which was demonstrated in the 1980s, and the topological insulator, which behaves as an electrical insulator in its interior while permitting the transport of charges on its surface. Sebastian Diehl and Peter Zoller’s team of theoretical physicists now suggest realizing dissipation induced Majorana fermions in a quantum system. This topological phenomenon was named after the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana and describes particles that are their own anti-particles. “We show a new way of how Majorana fermions may be created in a controlled way in a quantum system,“ explains Sebastian Diehl. “For this purpose we use a dissipative dynamic that drives the system into this state in a targeted way and compels it back when affected by disturbances.” With this new approach Diehl and his team combine the advantages of dissipation and topological order - both concepts are highly robust against perturbations such as disorder. Therefore, their suggestion to create Majorana fermions in an atomic quantum wire is of high interest for experimental implementation. It may be used for building a quantum computer whose basic building blocks consist of Majorana fermions. In quantum wires atoms are confined to one-dimensional structures by optical lattices which are generated by laser beams: Majorana fermions are then generated at both ends of the atomic chain.

Checklist

START awardee Sebastian Diehl and his research group have linked the knowledge of condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics. “We work at the interface between those two disciplines, which creates exciting new possibilities,“ says Diehl. First though, they had to prove beyond all doubt that the concept of topological order can be transferred to a dissipative context at all. “We were able to tick off all points on the topological checklist and show that its prerequisites are also valid in a system with dissipative dynamics.” The physicists have published the mathematical proof of this new approach in the journal Nature Physics.

Publication: Topology by Dissipation in Atomic Quantum Wires. S. Diehl, E. Rico, M. A. Baranov, P. Zoller. Nature Physics. 2. Oktober 2011 DOI: 10.1038/nphys2106 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys2106

Rückfragehinweis:
Dr. Sebastian Diehl
Institute for Theoretical Physics
University of Innsbruck
Phone: +43 512 507-4796
Email: Sebastian.Diehl@uibk.ac.at
http://www.uibk.ac.at/th-physik/qo/
Dr. Christian Flatz
Office for Public Relations
University of Innsbruck
Phone: +43 512 507-32022
Cell: +43 676 872532022
Email: Christian.Flatz@uibk.ac.at

Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck
Further information:
http://www.uibk.ac.at/th-physik/qo/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object
23.05.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence
23.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>