Quasiparticles can be used to explain physical phenomena in solid bodies even though they are not actual physical particles.
Physicists in Innsbruck have now realized quasiparticles in a quantum system and observed quantum mechanical entanglement propagation in a many-body system. The researchers have published their work in Nature.
Christian Roos’ research team at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Innsbruck has established a new experimental platform for investigating quantum phenomena: In a string of trapped ultracold ions they can precisely initialise, control and measure the states and properties of quasiparticle excitations in a many-body quantum system.
“Quasiparticles are a well-established concept in physics to describe the collective behaviour of particles in a simplified way,” says Christian Roos.
For the experiment the physicists used a one-dimensional ion-string consisting of between seven and fifteen calcium ions trapped in a vacuum chamber. Laser beams then manipulate the quantum state of the ions. “Each particle behaves like a little quantum magnet interacting with each other,” explains Petar Jurcevic, first author of this study. “The precise excitation of one of the particles also affects the other particles. The resulting collective behaviour of the system is called quasiparticles.”
These quasiparticles disperse to both sides of the excitation site on the ion-string, thereby, transporting quantum correlations. Excitation distribution has previously been observed in experiments with neutral atoms, where correlations between particles have also been shown.
“In our experiments we have been able to determine that these correlations are quantum correlations,” says Roos. “By measuring multi-particle correlations we have been able to detect and quantify quantum entanglement.” The physicists were, thus, the first to show entanglement propagation in a quantum system.
In contrast to previous experiments, the researchers in Innsbruck can tune the ion-ion interaction range in the system from effectively nearest-neighbour to infinite range. In each case, a new set of quasiparticles is created with unique dynamical properties.
New research with quasiparticles
“With this new scheme we can precisely manipulate the quasiparticles,” says an excited Philipp Hauke, one of the authors of this study. “It has taken us decades to come up with ways to precisely control and manipulate quantum particles. With this platform we can now do the same with quasiparticles and investigate phenomena that we haven’t been able to study experimentally.”
For example, it opens up new paths to study how quantum systems reach equilibrium, including the question of when thermalisation occurs, a process that so far has remained elusive. “Another big goal is to utilize quasiparticles for quantum information processing,” says Hauke.
In addition, this platform could also be used to study the role of transport processes in biological systems. At the moment Christian Roos’ research team is working on the idea to investigate interaction processes between two quasiparticles.
The study, now published in Nature, was jointly conducted by Peter Zoller’s theoretical research group and Rainer Blatt’s experimental research team at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Innsbruck. The researchers are funded by the Austrian Science Fund, the European Commission, the European Research Council and the Federation of Austrian Industries Tyrol.
Publication: Quasiparticle engineering and entanglement propagation in a quantum many-body system. P. Jurcevic, B. P. Lanyon, P. Hauke, C. Hempel, P. Zoller, R. Blatt, and C. F. Roos. Nature 2014 DOI: 10.1038/nature13461
Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Phone: +43 512 507 4728
Phone: +43 512 507 32022
Mobile: +43 676 872532022
http://quantumoptics.at - Quantum Optics and Spectroscopy Group
Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck
Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine