Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quantum behavior with a flash: Laser pulses can reveal quantum features of large objects

Date:
September 19, 2011
Source:
University of Vienna
Summary:
Just as a camera flash illuminates unseen objects hidden in darkness, a sequence of laser pulses can be used to study the elusive quantum behavior of a large "macroscopic" object, scientists report. This method enables experiments that push the boundaries of the quantum world to larger and larger scales.

Pulsed quantum optomechanics can directly probe quantum mechanical behavior, which is seen as the central rippling in this representation of a Schrödinger-cat state (left). Under constant observation these quantum features are washed out (right).
Credit: VCQ/University of Vienna

Just as a camera flash illuminates unseen objects hidden in darkness, a sequence of laser pulses can be used to study the elusive quantum behavior of a large "macroscopic" object. This method provides a novel tool of unprecedented performance for current experiments that push the boundaries of the quantum world to larger and larger scales.

Related Articles


A collaboration of scientists led by researchers from the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) at the University of Vienna report this new scheme in the forthcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

One of the most fascinating and still open questions in physics is how far quantum phenomena extend into our everyday world. To answer that, experiments need to peer into the quantum world at a completely new scale of mass and size. This is a bumpy road: it becomes increasingly difficult to detect the genuine quantum features as mass and size are increased.

Overcoming the "blur"

The research team proposes a method that uses flashes of light to observe quantum features of large objects with unprecedented resolution. The main idea is based on the fact that quantum objects, in contrast to classical objects, behave differently when they are being watched. "In current approaches, objects are constantly monitored and the possible quantum features are being washed out. This is in many ways analogous to the blurring of a photograph of a fast moving object," says Michael R. Vanner, lead author of the paper and member of the Vienna Doctoral School Complex Quantum Systems (CoQuS). "Loosely speaking, the flashes freeze the motion and create a sharp image of the quantum behavior."

How macroscopic can "quantum" be?

With this new tool, experiments will be able to peer into the quantum world at a completely new scale of mass and size. In particular, the scheme can be directly applied to the ongoing experiments that attempt to prepare quantum phenomena in micro-mechanical resonators, i.e. mechanically vibrating massive objects. "By analyzing the dynamics of such behavior, pulsed quantum optomechanics provides a path for investigating whether macroscopic mechanical objects can be used in future quantum technologies. It will also help shed light on nature's apparent division between the quantum and the classical worlds."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. R. Vanner, I. Pikovski, G. D. Cole, M. S. Kim, C. Brukner, K. Hammerer, G. J. Milburn, M. Aspelmeyer. Pulsed quantum optomechanics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1105098108

Cite This Page:

University of Vienna. "Quantum behavior with a flash: Laser pulses can reveal quantum features of large objects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110916102410.htm>.
University of Vienna. (2011, September 19). Quantum behavior with a flash: Laser pulses can reveal quantum features of large objects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110916102410.htm
University of Vienna. "Quantum behavior with a flash: Laser pulses can reveal quantum features of large objects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110916102410.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Maine Storm Surge Sparks Power Explosions

Raw: Maine Storm Surge Sparks Power Explosions

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Police dash cam video shows a series of explosions along the beach in Maine as heavy storm surge soaked electrical transformers. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan's Maglev Train Breaks New World Speed Record

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks New World Speed Record

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Japan&apos;s state-of-the-art maglev train clocks a new world speed record in a test run near Mount Fuji, smashing through the 600 kilometre (373 miles) per hour mark, as Tokyo races to sell the technology abroad. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free Home Heating Offered by E-Radiators

Free Home Heating Offered by E-Radiators

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 21, 2015) — A revolutionary new radiator design offers Dutch home-owners the chance to get free heating. The e-Radiator is a computer server modified so that the heat it generates can warm a room inside a house. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Completes 6th Leg of Quest to Circumnavigate Globe

Solar Plane Completes 6th Leg of Quest to Circumnavigate Globe

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) — Solar Impulse 2 lands in the Chinese city of Nanjing, finishing the sixth stage of its landmark 12-leg quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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