Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Schrödinger cats snatch many-particle quantum states

19.09.2011
Scientists from University of Marburg and JILA (University of Colorado and NIST) establish a high-precision framework for laser spectroscopy to directly accesses quantum properties of matter.

Quantum mechanics describes the complete information of any given system. Even though nanotechnology has developed tremendously during the last decades, one can currently access the full quantum information only when systems are extremely simple such as single light modes or single atoms. This limitation is about to be removed due to the recent developments reported in Nature Physics. This research introduces a completely new framework by adding quantum aspects into generic laser spectroscopy.

Over the years, the evolution of lasers has followed a clear path where the control over their spectrum, intensity, and phase has been continuously improved. These classical aspects are already mastered with astounding accuracy; for example, the universal standards for time and length are based on the high-precision laser spectroscopy. However, light contains also a quantum extension that must be conquered next. The field of quantum optics is pioneering the development toward this direction. Until now, it has seemed inconceivable to investigate quantum-optical properties of many-particle systems simply because of the overwhelming mathematical complexity and technical challenges. Therefore, the quantum-optical aspects of many-particle physics are still largely unexplored, which clearly hinders major advancements in many fields with nanotechnology aspirations.

Toward new quantum-spectroscopy framework

The Marburg-JILA collaboration has approached this monumental dilemma from a completely new point of view by demonstrating that the quantum-laser spectroscopy can be realized by using the very same approaches as those applied in any high-precision laser spectroscopy. Mackillo Kira explains: “As the first step, one simply collects a massive set of measurement data as function of classical laser’s intensity and phase. Astonishingly, we found a way to mathematically project all possible quantum-optical measurements, even though this information is highly convolved.” Steven Cundiff adds: “We have essentially combined best of both worlds concerning high-precision measurements and quantum theory to robustly project quantum-optical data.” To demonstrate the new framework of quantum spectroscopy, this research team analyzed how light absorption in semiconductors – with roughly one million particles – was influenced by quantum fluctuations of light.

Already 1935, Erwin Schrödinger introduced a cat state as a superposition of dead and alive states to elucidate the essence of interference effects, responsible for many nonintuitive effects such as teleportation and quantum computing. One can approach an analogous situation less drastically by considering a quantum-laser source in superposition of two extreme states. Ryan Smith stresses: “Our results show that Schrödinger-cat-state lasers directly access targeted many-particle states with extraordinary accuracy. In particular, we could single out both molecule and electron-cluster states from the interacting semiconductor, just by adjusting the quantum-interference properties of the Schrödinger cat states used.” Stephan Koch concludes: “This means we have solved how generic quantum-optics investigations can be performed in practice.”

Future of quantum spectroscopy

Already the ordinary laser spectroscopy is one of the most powerful methods in metrology, physics, chemistry, and biology to characterize nanoscale processes of very different systems. Steven Cundiff comments: “Our work simply generalizes the laser spectroscopy to a completely new level by making quantum spectroscopy possible with minor modifications to present-day laser spectroscopies.” Mackillo Kira summarizes: “Since the developed framework opens an unprecedented access to complicated nanoscale processes – previously considered inconceivable – our results can revolutionize the way laser spectroscopy will be applied in the future.”

Research team
The theory part of this collaborative work was conducted in Marburg by Profs. Mackillo Kira and Stephan W. Koch and the experiments were performed in JILA by Dr. Ryan Smith, Andrew Hunter, and Prof. Steven Cundiff.

Original publication: M. Kira, S.W. Koch, R.P. Smith, A.E. Hunter, and S. T. Cundiff, Quantum spectroscopy with Schrödinger-cat states, Nature Physics, DOI 10.1038/nphys2091 (2011).

Further Information:
Contact: Prof. Mackillo (Mack) Kira
Department of Physics
University of Marburg
Renthof 5
D 35032 Marburg
Tel: +49 (0)6421 28 24222
Fax: +49 (0)6421 28 27076
Email: mackillo.kira@physik.uni-marburg.de

Johannes Scholten | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-marburg.de

Further reports about: JILA Nature Immunology Quantum Schrödinger laser spectroscopy single atom

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

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: Electron highway inside crystal

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...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

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:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

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...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>