We experience the power of light daily. When turning on the flashlight, when looking towards the sun, we appreciate the energy of light, in the form of photons. These are packets of small amounts of energy, which more than once obey strange laws of quantum mechanics, like those of photons. Indivisible But at the same time, they can be in two places at once.
But not only light contains this class of particles, they are called indivisible quantum particles phonons They form a beam of sound, just as photons do by causing beams of light. Phonons emerge from the collective motion of a quadrillion atoms, in the same way that a “stadium wave” occurs in a sports stadium due to the motion of thousands of individual fans. When we listen to a song, it works in exactly the same way: It consists of a huge stream of these tiny quantum particles.
Phonons are expected to obey the same rules of quantum mechanics as photons, as they were originally designed to explain the heat capacities of solids. However, the technology for generating and detecting individual phonons has lagged behind that for photons.
For this reason, a research group at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is studying the fundamental quantum properties of sound, the splitting of phonons into two halves and their entanglement. This may allow researchers in the near future to build a kind of quantum computer.
Splitting sound with “bad” mirrors
Phonons are indivisible. But, after interacting with a beam splitter, it ends up in what is known as a “ray splitter”.nested case. In this case, the phonon is reflected and transmitted, and you could potentially detect the phonon in either case. If you step in and detect the phonon, you will measure half the time that it was reflected and the other half that it was transmitted; That is, this state is randomly selected by the detector. In the absence of the detection process, the phone will remain in the overlay state. This effect has long been observed with photons, which indicates that phonons behave in the same way.
After showing that phonons and photons enter into quantum superpositions, the researchers wondered what would happen if they sent two identical phonons into a beam splitter, each in a different direction. The result was that each phonon would enter a similar superposition state that was half transmitted and half reflected, but because of the physics of the beam splitter, they mechanically interfered with each other. I mean, they are Quantum mechanically entangled.
In the case of quantum entanglement, each phonon is in superposition of a reflective and a transmitting state, but both are locked, meaning that if one phonon is detected as being transmitted or reflected, it forces the other to remain in the same state. If it detects, it will always detect two phones, going in one direction or the other, never in every direction. This effect is called Hong-Ou-Mandel effect.
These results suggest that it may be possible to build a quantum mechanical computer using phonons, which can be very compact, self-contained, and built entirely on a chip similar to a laptop processor, which could facilitate and improve phone usability. existing technologies.
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