Scientists tame Schrodinger's cat for a new type of quantum computer

January 19, 2015
Scientists tame Schrӧdinger’s cat for a new type of quantum computer
Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Seb Weidt, PhD students Kim Lake and Joe Randall at work on the experiment creating ‘entanglement’ using microwave radiation.

Physicists at the University of Sussex have tamed one of the most counterintuitive phenomena of modern science in their quest to develop a new generation of machines capable of revolutionizing the way we can solve many problems in modern science.

The strange and mysterious nature of is often illustrated by a thought experiment, known as Schrӧdinger's Cat, in which a cat is theoretically both dead and alive simultaneously.

According to a new study published this week in Physical Review A, Sussex physicists have now managed to create a special type of "Schrӧdinger's" cat using new technology based on trapped ions (charged atoms) and radiation.

Like the cat, the researchers made these ions exist in two states simultaneously by creating 'entanglement', an effect that challenges the very fabric of reality itself.

Trapped ions are leading the race towards constructing a new type of computer able to solve certain problems with unprecedented speeds by taking its power from a theory called ''.

Traditionally, lasers have been used to drive such quantum processes. But millions of stable beams would have to be carefully aligned in order to be able to work with the very large number of required to encode a useful amount of data.

It would be much easier to build a quantum computer that uses microwave radiation instead of lasers for all quantum operations because, just like in a standard kitchen microwave, the radiation is easily broadcast over a large area using well-developed and inherently stable technology.

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The Sussex researchers' ability to create and fully control a Schrӧdinger's cat ion using instead of lasers constitutes a significant step towards the realisation of a large scale microwave quantum computer.

Dr Winfried Hensinger, who leads the Sussex team, says: "While constructing a large scale quantum computer is still a significant challenge, this achievement demonstrates that we are moving beyond basic science towards realizing new step-changing technologies that have the potential to change our lives."

Dr Hensinger's team, consisting of postdoctoral fellows Dr Seb Weidt and Dr Simon Webster, along with PhD students Kim Lake, Joe Randall and Eamon Standing, worked for over two years to develop this microwave based technology that is capable of significantly simplifying the engineering required to build an actual quantum computer.

Dr Seb Weidt says: "This achievement opens up a whole range of opportunities to realize new quantum technologies."

Explore further: In quantum computing, light may lead the way

More information: 'Generation of spin-motion entanglement in a trapped ion using long-wavelength radiation ', by K. Lake, S. Weidt, J. Randall, E. D. Standing, S. C. Webster, and W. K. Hensinger, is published  in Physical Review A [Phys. Rev. A 91, 012319 (2015)]. journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.91.012319

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antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2015
the researchers made these ions exist in two states simultaneously by creating 'entanglement', an effect that challenges the very fabric of reality itself.

Not really...It challenges merely our intuition of what we think reality should be like. Intuition, however, is an evolved thing optimized to give us a good stab at 'what works' in a macrocosmic environment. It does not necessarily have a connection to any kind of physical 'truth'. Especially for phenomena which never were apparent during its evolution.
luvinspoon2001
3 / 5 (6) Jan 19, 2015
"Not really...It challenges merely our intuition of what we think reality should be like...."

Yes and No, EPR violates our sense of space and time. Since our interpretation or belief, "faith", of what space is, a 3D manifold that can interact with matter, EPR is prolematic. If however we changed that notion of space to something like: Space is the spatial dimensional degrees of freedom of matter, where constraints to the number of dimensions is governed by probability waves. If we view space as such then EPR is actually a manifestation of a hyper-dimension, and since EPR is not a gauge phenomena, how a manifold configures and can stretch is not dependent on relativistic principles.

Why 4D space time doesn't exist for us at the gauge level but does for certain quantum reactions is the 4D spatial freedom cancels out, where as with a EPR reaction it does not....
Science Officer
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2015
My cat was inadvertently exposed to radiation. Now the poor thing has eighteen half-lives.
Wake
not rated yet Jan 19, 2015
luvinspoon2001 - what is a "probability wave"? Does that mean that it is a synchronous change from one state to the other in a continuous stream?
luvinspoon2001
4.8 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2015
Wake: The probability wave or amplitude is a concept that Feynman thought up and applied in his approach to describing Quantum Electro-Dynamics. The approach copes with the uncertainty of a particle's place and time and can calculate the statistics of where a particle can be very accurately.
foolspoo
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2015
spot on antalias. luvin, strange that you agree with the statement in every sense (based on each of your arguments) but decided to attempt to refute it anyways. our ignorance does not have the capacity to challenge reality. our perception is not reality. our comprehension is not reality. our ever evolving choice of definition is not reality. these are merely our individualized, unique version. if we are speaking of a universal reality, then there is no argument to antalias' comment.
luvinspoon2001
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2015
foolspoo: "but decided to attempt to refute it anyways. our ignorance does not have the capacity to challenge reality. our perception is not reality. our comprehension is not reality. our ever evolving choice of definition is not reality."

I don't think you get it...The point made was the notion of reality as being explainable or not is dependent on ideas that can provide solutions and can be validated. Meaning if our sense of reality is being violated its time to re-think our notions of reality, rather than simply say: It is what is cause that just the way it works."
foolspoo
4 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2015
you are not quite aware what you disagree with.

to quote;
"if we changed," "since our interpretation," "if we view"

To correct your confusion, the point was made that our intuition has guided our interpretation of reality for many eons. we understand intuition to be fallible. you are using this intuition to make projections on our incomplete understanding. reality does not challenge itself, it simply challenges our perception
luvinspoon2001
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2015
reality does not challenge itself, it simply challenges our perception


Ahh...No you are not quite getting it...Where you hinge a generic notion of intuition as fallible you are actually destroying the need to even challenge any other intuitive notion of reality since its just going to be some other kind of fallible intuition! You also confuse cultural consistencies and beliefs with humanities perceptional potential. Science is about fathoming reality from non-intuitive notions, why Einstein was able to shock the world with relative time and warped space. The hidden truths can lie in approaches that are cultural taboos. So discovery is not dependent on intuitions but how to view the world in "non-intuitive" terms or "cultural" norms.

Einstein does not define space but describes its behavior, and from that description assumptions were construed as a cultural intuitive reality. Challenging the cultural belief is where good science starts and intuitive thinking ends.
foolspoo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2015
i recognize the backtracking nature of your retorts. appreciated
idaman
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2015
Humorous: When life exists, it has a will to continue its existance. Assume Shrodinger's cat was alive when it went into the box. Then without a measurement one has to assume the cat is still alive. Its a glass half full question and like one of my peer's puts it, get a smaller glass. If you don't like the answer, change the question.
idaman
3 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2015
Fundamentally quantum entanglement theory is that both the particles and the wave exist simultaneously. Its a matter of measurement. Our method somehow disturbs this "spooky" pheonemena. Until we develop a "spooky" measurement at a distance device, all of this is only observable theory.
idaman
5 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2015
I'm currently 55 and I believe the mean life time for men is 80. That means I am more that half dead, but I am alive. I think therefor I am.
bradalb0
5 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2015
My cat is sneaky. I put him in the box with the poison gas. But he got out. When I opened the box he was gone. Then I heard a meow behind me. Now I'm stuck in this box with the unstable poison gas. So here's a new thought question. Should I call someone to get me out of the box?
big_hairy_jimbo
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2015
I actually appreciated all of luvinspoon2001 comments. Well thought out and articulated.

To me, the instantaneous nature of it, points to the existence of other dimensions. Properties may seem separated in some dimensions, but maybe on top of one another in other dimensions. In this case, communication via the closest dimension would seem the most energy efficient. Yeah pure conjecture, but we have seen hyper dimensions being brought up time and time again to explain the problems with obervables that are made in 3+1 spacetime. Now if only a breakthrough could be made to detect more dimensions. I'm going to waffle here, but the notion of spin 1/2 particles says to me that the property of spin exists in more than 3+1 spacetime. It may have been refuted but the idea of a Mobius strip and the concept of calabi-yau space seems similar!!!! Spin 1/2 in some sense does resemble a mobius stip manifold. Is a mobius a subset of calabi-yau? (spelling??)
Note the above is just my mind waffling
kulashaker
5 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2015
Big hairy Jimbo said " To me, the instantaneous nature of it, points to the existence of other dimensions. Properties may seem separated in some dimensions, but maybe on top of one another in other dimensions. In this case, communication via the closest dimension would seem the most energy efficient. "

The simultaneous action at a distance of quantum phenomina which has been demonstrated to exist, may well imply the existence of extra spacial dimensions. But if they do exist, they must be different to our commonly experienced spacial dimensions because they cannot be used to transmit information.

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2015
Now I'm stuck in this box with the unstable poison gas. So here's a new thought question. Should I call someone to get me out of the box?

Hint: Don't call Wiegner's friend.
http://en.wikiped...s_friend
big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet Jan 20, 2015
@kulashasker when I said information I should have said quantum property instead. I wasn't referring to information in the classical sense but more that a quantum property could be transmitted via a hidden dimension, giving the appearance if simultaneity in our 3+1 spacetime.
russell_russell
not rated yet Jan 20, 2015
If all the inhabitants of earth simultaneously had to ability to proclaim or label the same phenomenon as "we have never perceive anything like this before to date!", then I will simply point out that the physical mechanics of our consciousness, collective or singular, notwithstanding evolution to date, will discredit any such proclamation.

Does a holographical principle allow an indeterminate system? Emerging from a two dimensional surface? Less is more?... as long as everything is projected?

Will be back later - because I am 'von allen guten Geistern verlassen!'
Which means my senses are on Sabbatical.

betterexists
not rated yet Jan 22, 2015
Stick in a NanoSizedMessager in the body of the Cat that would WIRELESSLY communicate with outside GADGETS!
betterexists
not rated yet Jan 22, 2015
Stick in a NanoSizedMessager in the body of the Cat that would WIRELESSLY communicate with outside GADGETS!

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