Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quantum ghosts are helpful

28.04.2009
The idea that far distant particles can somehow 'talk' to each other worried Einstein so much that he called it 'spooky action at a distance'.

Having confirmed its existence, scientists today are learning how to use this 'spooky action' as a helpful tool. Now a team of physicists at the University of Bristol and Imperial College London have harnessed this phenomenon to shed light on another unusual and previously difficult aspect of quantum physics - that of distinguishing between two similar quantum devices.

In the everyday world any process can be considered as a black box device with an input and an output; if you wish to identify the device you simply apply inputs, measure the outputs and determine what must have happened in between.

But quantum black boxes are different. Distinguishing between them is impossible using only single particle inputs because the outputs are not distinguishable: a fundamental consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics is that only very few states of a quantum particle can be reliably distinguished from one another.

The Bristol-Imperial team has shown how to get around this problem using 'spooky action'.

Anthony Laing, PhD student in the Department of Physics, who performed the study, said: "Apart from providing insight into the fundamentals of quantum physics, this work may be crucial for future quantum technologies.

"How else could a future quantum engineer build a quantum computer if they can't tell which circuits they have?"

The new findings have implications for our understanding of quantum mechanics as well as the emerging potential of quantum information science.

This work was performed in the Bristol Centre for Quantum Photonics led by Professor Jeremy O'Brien (www.phy.bris.ac.uk/groups/cqp) as part of a collaboration with Dr Terry Rudolph at Imperial College London.

The paper in Physical Review Letters is published online ahead of print, 24 April 2009, http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v102/e160502.

The work was supported by the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK Quantum Information Processing Interdisciplinary Collaboration (QIP IRC), and the Leverhulme Trust.

Joanne Fryer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

nachricht Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>