Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mysteries And Surprises In Quantum Physics

Date:
May 11, 2007
Source:
Institute Of Physics
Summary:
Scientists report manipulating and controlling single atoms and single photons interacting in a cavity, which is a box made of highly reflecting walls. The result means that it is now possible repeatedly to extract information from the same photon. This is important because the major part of all information we get from the universe come from light. "Developing a new way of 'seeing' could have applications in quantum science," said researcher, Prof. Haroche. "A photon could share its information with an ensemble of atoms to build up an 'entangled state' of light or matter".

“Cavity quantum electrodynamics” is a sub-field of quantum optics. Speaking at the EPL symposium, “Physics In Our Times” held today (9 May) at the Fondation Del Duca de l’Institut de France, Paris Professor Serge Haroche from the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, explained how he and his colleagues manipulate and control single atoms and single photons interacting in a cavity, which is a box made of highly reflecting walls.

Related Articles


By studying the behaviour of these atoms and photons in this protected environment, the physicists can illustrate fundamental aspects of quantum theory, such as state superpositions, complementarity and decoherence. This research is related to the physics of quantum information, a new domain at the frontier of information science and physics that tries to harness the logic of the quantum world to realise tasks in communication and computing that classical devices cannot achieve.

“During the 20th century, quantum physics has given us new technologies that have changed our lives – for example the computer, the laser and magnetic resonance imaging to name a few,” explained Prof. Haroche. “However, quantum laws have counterintuitive aspects that defy common sense. This has led to a paradox: although we all take advantage of quantum physics, it remains very strange - even some of the scientists that developed the theory, such as Einstein, Schrödinger and de Broglie, were uneasy about its deep meaning,” he said.

Prof. Haroche and his team have recently succeeded in trapping a single photon in a box on the time scale of seconds and have detected this photon many times without destroying it. The researchers have achieved this by sending atoms across the box and measuring the imprint left on the atoms by the photon. This is a new kind of light detection called ‘quantum non-demolition’,” explained Prof. Haroche. “Until now, single photons were always destroyed upon detection.”

The result means that it is now possible repeatedly to extract information from the same photon. This is important because the major part of all information we get from the universe come from light. “Developing a new way of ‘seeing’ could have applications in quantum science,” said Prof. Haroche. “A photon could share its information with an ensemble of atoms to build up an ‘entangled state’ of light or matter”.

Attempting to manipulate and control quantum systems raises important questions about the transition between quantum and classical behaviour. “Fundamentally, the goal is to understand nature better,” explained Prof. Haroche. “Applications, such as quantum communication machines, will certainly come but what they will be useful for is not yet clear. This is why research is so exciting – unpredictable things keep happening all the time.”

Prof. Haroche’s group is currently working with atoms and photons in cavities but related work is being done by other groups on trapped ions and cold atoms in optical potential wells, with superconducting junction or quantum dots in solid state devices. “Although the technologies may differ widely, the quantum and information science concepts used are the same,” he explained. “We are therefore witnessing a kind of unification between different fields of research that is very promising.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute Of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute Of Physics. "Mysteries And Surprises In Quantum Physics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070510112430.htm>.
Institute Of Physics. (2007, May 11). Mysteries And Surprises In Quantum Physics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070510112430.htm
Institute Of Physics. "Mysteries And Surprises In Quantum Physics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070510112430.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins