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Snapshot technique helps scientists "hear" the quantum world

Snapshot technique helps scientists "hear" the quantum world

Physicists have created a new technique to facilitate the observation of quantum motion. Credit: University of Queensland

When scientists examine very small and fast objects, they find that the laws of physics operate in a totally different way from that of the ordinary world.

Observing these paradoxical events in larger objects has always been difficult, but physicists at the University of Queensland, members of a team of Austrian and British researchers, have created a new technique greatly facilitating observation of the quantum movement.

This discovery could facilitate the adoption of quantum physics in new technologies – such as ultra-sensitive motion sensors similar to those used in mobile phones – that exploit the unusual properties of quantum motion.

Dr. Farid Shahandeh, who earned his PhD from UQ and is now at Swansea University, said the new technique had similarities with "listening" to a violin looking at his strings.

"When a musician plays a violin, each string vibrates at a specific frequency to create a specific sound and the combination or" layering "of all these frequencies creates the music you hear", did -he declares.

"If you can not hear the music, just like Beethoven in the last ten years of his life, it is extremely difficult to grasp what is only playing by watching the bow shots.

"In quantum physics, we are deaf to the sound of quantum" violins "but our new technique uses light to hear them."

The researchers have made significant progress in the use of quantum instruments, but hear their sound and ensure that it is a melody – and not a problem. A simple frequency – is notoriously difficult.

Martin Ringbauer, a collaborator at the Australian Center of the Australian Council for Quantum Systems Research (UQUS), said the team 's new approach was about taking snapshots of moving ropes. a violin.

"Other methods try to extract the entire quantum motion at one time, but our approach is to reconstruct it from a series of snapshots taken with a powerful beam of light," he says. said Dr. Ringbauer, an honorary research associate of the UQ, who currently works at the University of Innsbruck.

"The quantum violin always produces a sound in the direction of the vibration, although it is too acute to be audible.

"The important thing to understand is that you can not play this violin with a normal bow: you have to use the light to vibrate the strings.

Mr Ringbauer said the new flexible technique allowed observing quantum motion in many current experiments where other methods were failing.

"The ability to observe and verify the quantum properties of mechanical systems is a crucial step in the development of new quantum technologies," he said.

The researchers published an article titled "Optomechanical State Reconstruction and Verification of Non-Classicity Beyond the Resolved Sideband Regime" in Quantum.

Explore further:
Can a quantum drum vibrate and remain motionless at the same time?

More information:
Farid Shahandeh et al. Optomechanical state reconstruction and verification of non-classificability beyond the resolved sideband regime, Quantum (2019). DOI: 10.22331 / q-2019-02-25-125

Provided by:
University of Queensland

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