Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Imaging Quantum Entanglement

Date:
September 25, 2007
Source:
University College London
Summary:
Scientists have demonstrated the dramatic effects of quantum mechanics in a simple magnet. The importance of the work lies in establishing how a conventional tool of material science -- neutron beams produced at particle accelerators and nuclear reactors -- can be used to produce images of the ghostly entangled states of the quantum world.

For simplicity, the team focused on a square of spins, the tiny bar magnets associated with the electrons in the copper atoms in the organometallic material studied by the researchers. The left (c) shows a calculated neutron image for these spins when they behave as classical objects (a), while the right (d) shows the image when they are entangled (b). The images are dramatically different in the two cases, taking the form of a nearly circular spot for the classical case and a cross for the quantum, entangled state.
Credit: London Centre for Nanotechnology

An international team including scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) have just published findings in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' (PNAS) demonstrating the dramatic effects of quantum mechanics in a simple magnet.

The importance of the work lies in establishing how a conventional tool of material science -- neutron beams produced at particle accelerators and nuclear reactors -- can be used to produce images of the ghostly entangled states of the quantum world.

At the nano scale, magnetism arises from atoms behaving like little magnets called 'spins'. In ferromagnets -- the kind that stick to fridge doors -- all of these atomic magnets point in the same direction. In antiferromagnets, the spins were thought to spontaneously align themselves opposite to the adjacent spins, leaving the material magnetically neutral overall.

The new research shows that this picture is not correct because it ignores the uncertainties of quantum mechanics. In particular, at odds with everyday intuition, the quantum-mechanical physical laws which operate on the nano-scale allow a spin to simultaneously point both up and down. At the same time, two spins can be linked such that even though it is impossible to know the direction of either by itself, they will always point in opposite directions -- in which case they are 'entangled'.

With their discovery, the researchers demonstrate that neutrons can detect entanglement, the key resource for quantum computing.

One of the lead authors of the work, Professor Des McMorrow from the LCN, comments: "When we embarked on this work, I think it is fair to say that none of us were expecting to see such gigantic effects produced by quantum entanglement in the material we were studying. We were following a hunch that this material might yield something important and we had the good sense to pursue it."

The researchers' next steps will be to pursue the implications for high temperature superconductors, materials carrying electrical currents with no heating and which bear remarkable similarities to the insulating antiferromagnets they have studied, and the design of quantum computers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University College London. "Imaging Quantum Entanglement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070921112416.htm>.
University College London. (2007, September 25). Imaging Quantum Entanglement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070921112416.htm
University College London. "Imaging Quantum Entanglement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070921112416.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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