Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exotic quantum states: A new research approach

Date:
October 3, 2011
Source:
University of Innsbruck
Summary:
Theoretical physicists have formulated a new concept to engineer exotic, so-called topological states of matter in quantum mechanical many-body systems. They linked concepts of quantum optics and condensed matter physics and show a direction to build a quantum computer which is immune against perturbations.

Majorana fermions are then generated at both ends of the atomic chain.
Credit: H. Ritsch

Theoretical physicists of the University of Innsbruck have formulated a new concept to engineer exotic, so-called topological states of matter in quantum mechanical many-body systems. They linked concepts of quantum optics and condensed matter physics and show a direction to build a quantum computer which is immune against perturbations. The scientists have published their work in the journal Nature Physics.

Three years ago a research team led by Sebastian Diehl and Peter Zoller presented a completely new approach to engineer quantum states in many-body systems. They used a physical phenomenon that normally increases the degree of disorder in a system dramatically: dissipation. In classical physics dissipation is the concept that explains the production of heat through friction. Surprisingly, in quantum physics dissipation can also lead to order and a completely pure many-body state can be realized. This spring an Innsbruck research team, led by experimental physicist Rainer Blatt, demonstrated experimentally that by using dissipation certain quantum effects can be generated and intensified.

By linking concepts of quantum optics and condensed matter physics, theoretical physicists from the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have now pointed out a new direction of how dissipation may be used in another beneficial and promising way.

Immune against perturbations

In condensed matter physics a new concept to describe order in many-body systems has gained in importance recently: topological order. Two examples for topological phenomena are the quantum Hall effect, which was demonstrated in the 1980s, and the topological insulator, which behaves as an electrical insulator in its interior while permitting the transport of charges on its surface. Sebastian Diehl and Peter Zoller's team of theoretical physicists now suggest realizing dissipation induced Majorana fermions in a quantum system. This topological phenomenon was named after the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana and describes particles that are their own anti-particles.

"We show a new way of how Majorana fermions may be created in a controlled way in a quantum system," explains Sebastian Diehl. "For this purpose we use a dissipative dynamic that drives the system into this state in a targeted way and compels it back when affected by disturbances." With this new approach Diehl and his team combine the advantages of dissipation and topological order -- both concepts are highly robust against perturbations such as disorder. Therefore, their suggestion to create Majorana fermions in an atomic quantum wire is of high interest for experimental implementation. It may be used for building a quantum computer whose basic building blocks consist of Majorana fermions. In quantum wires atoms are confined to one-dimensional structures by optical lattices which are generated by laser beams: Majorana fermions are then generated at both ends of the atomic chain.

Checklist

START awardee Sebastian Diehl and his research group have linked the knowledge of condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics. "We work at the interface between those two disciplines, which creates exciting new possibilities," says Diehl. First though, they had to prove beyond all doubt that the concept of topological order can be transferred to a dissipative context at all. "We were able to tick off all points on the topological checklist and show that its prerequisites are also valid in a system with dissipative dynamics." The physicists have published the mathematical proof of this new approach in the journal Nature Physics.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian Diehl, Enrique Rico, Mikhail A. Baranov, Peter Zoller. Topology by dissipation in atomic quantum wires. Nature Physics, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nphys2106

Cite This Page:

University of Innsbruck. "Exotic quantum states: A new research approach." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003075531.htm>.
University of Innsbruck. (2011, October 3). Exotic quantum states: A new research approach. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003075531.htm
University of Innsbruck. "Exotic quantum states: A new research approach." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003075531.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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