Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists make strides in understanding quantum entanglement

Date:
December 14, 2012
Source:
University of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
While some theoretical physicists make predictions about astrophysics and the behavior of stars and galaxies, others work in the realm of the very small, which includes quantum physics. Recently, theoretical physicists have made important strides in studying a concept in quantum physics called quantum entanglement, in which electron spins are entangled with each other.

Kagome lattice.
Credit: N. Mori

While some theoretical physicists make predictions about astrophysics and the behavior of stars and galaxies, others work in the realm of the very small, which includes quantum physics. Such is the case at UC Santa Barbara, where theoretical physicists at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) cover the range of questions in physics.

Recently, theoretical physicists at KITP have made important strides in studying a concept in quantum physics called quantum entanglement, in which electron spins are entangled with each other. Using computers to calculate the extreme version of quantum entanglement -- how the spin of every electron in certain electronic materials could be entangled with another electron's spin -- the research team found a way to predict this characteristic. Future applications of the research are expected to benefit fields such as information technology.

"Quantum entanglement is a strange and non-intuitive aspect of the quantum theory of matter, which has puzzled and intrigued physicists since the earliest days of the quantum theory," said Leon Balents, senior author of a recent paper on this topic published in the journal Nature Physics. Balents is a professor of physics and a permanent member of KITP.

Quantum entanglement represents the extent to which measurement of one part of a system affects the state of another; for example, measurement of one electron influences the state of another that may be far away, explained Balents. In recent years, scientists have realized that entanglement of electrons is present in varying degrees in solid materials. Taking this notion to the extreme is the "quantum spin liquid," a state of matter in which every electron spin is entangled with another.

Balents said that quantum spin liquids are being sought in experiments on natural and artificial minerals. A key question posed by physicists is how to calculate theoretically which materials are quantum spin liquids. "In our paper, we provide an answer to this question, showing that a precise quantitative measure of 'long-range' entanglement can be calculated for realistic models of electronic materials," said Balents.

"Our results provide a smoking gun signature of this special type of entanglement that determines whether or not a given material is a quantum spin liquid," explained Balents. The results prove that an emblematic example of this type of problem -- material with electron spins residing on the "kagome lattice" -- is indeed a quantum spin liquid, according to Balents. The kagome lattice is a pattern of electron spins named after a type of Japanese fishing basket that this arrangement of spins resembles.

"We expect the technique we developed to have broad applications in the search for these unique quantum states, which in the future may have remarkable applications in information technologies," said Balents.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Hong-Chen Jiang, Zhenghan Wang, Leon Balents. Identifying topological order by entanglement entropy. Nature Physics, 2012; 8 (12): 902 DOI: 10.1038/nphys2465

Cite This Page:

University of California - Santa Barbara. "Physicists make strides in understanding quantum entanglement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214191520.htm>.
University of California - Santa Barbara. (2012, December 14). Physicists make strides in understanding quantum entanglement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214191520.htm
University of California - Santa Barbara. "Physicists make strides in understanding quantum entanglement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214191520.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. 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:

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