Quantum speed-up predicted for charging quantum batteries

March 28, 2018 by Lisa Zyga, Phys.org feature
(Top) Quantum batteries operating in parallel and (bottom) the entangled building blocks of a quantum battery operating collectively. Credit: Ferraro et al. ©2018 American Physical Society

While batteries have been improving in recent times, at their core today's batteries still operate on the same basic electrochemical principles developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some physicists are now wondering whether quantum phenomena may revolutionize conventional battery chemistry and lead to the development of an entirely new class of potentially more powerful batteries.

In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Dario Ferraro and coauthors at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova, Italy, have theoretically demonstrated a speed-up for the charging time of quantum batteries, in analogy to the quantum speed-up that has been previously demonstrated for information processing in quantum computing.

"We have shown that, even in a simple but realistic model, the charging power can be considerably enhanced by properly exploiting the rules of quantum mechanics," Ferraro told Phys.org. "Quantum batteries, once experimentally realized, could be used in contexts where the rapidity of charging/discharging process is crucial. As a possible application, one can imagine the realization of nanoscale power supplies to provide energy to miniaturized devices directly on-site."

In their work, the physicists showed that entangling the units of a quantum battery, and then coupling all of the units to the same quantum energy source, results in a quantum collective enhancement in charging power compared to the case where the units are charged individually, in parallel. The enhancement increases as the number of units increases (specifically, when a quantum battery consists of N units, the quantum advantage scales as the square root of N).

The researchers attribute the faster charging time to the quantum entanglement among the units. They explain that the units are all coupled to a common quantized electromagnetic mode, and photons from the energy source mediate a long-range interaction between units, generating entanglement among them.

The work builds on previous abstract ideas about speeding up the charging time of quantum batteries through collective charging, making these concepts more concrete and putting them on experimentally feasible grounds. The researchers expect that the proposed system may be experimentally realized with current state-of-the-art technology, such as superconducting qubits, quantum dots, or photonic crystals, among other possibilities.

"Our work aims at creating a bridge between abstract mathematical physics theorems and actual experimental implementation of quantum batteries," Ferraro said.

In future work, the researchers also plan to investigate another interesting outcome of the new study, which is the existence of a tradeoff between the 's charging power and its energy storage capacity.

Explore further: Quantum effects lead to more powerful battery charging

More information: Dario Ferraro et al. "High-Power Collective Charging of a Solid-State Quantum Battery." Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.117702
Also at: arXiv:1707.04930 [cond-mat.mes-hall]

Related Stories

Quantum effects lead to more powerful battery charging

May 1, 2017

(Phys.org)—Physicists have theoretically shown that, when multiple nanoscale batteries are coupled together, they can be charged faster than if each battery was charged individually. The improvement arises from collective ...

Quantum speed limits are not actually quantum

March 15, 2018

Quantum mechanics has fundamental speed limits—upper bounds on the rate at which quantum systems can evolve. However, two groups working independently have published papers showing for the first time that quantum speed ...

For faster battery charging, try a quantum battery?

August 3, 2015

(Phys.org)—Physicists have shown that a quantum battery—basically, a quantum system such as a qubit that stores energy in its quantum states—can theoretically be charged at a faster rate than conventional batteries. ...

Recommended for you

Physicists reveal why matter dominates universe

March 21, 2019

Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have confirmed that matter and antimatter decay differently for elementary particles containing charmed quarks.

ATLAS experiment observes light scattering off light

March 20, 2019

Light-by-light scattering is a very rare phenomenon in which two photons interact, producing another pair of photons. This process was among the earliest predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory of ...

How heavy elements come about in the universe

March 19, 2019

Heavy elements are produced during stellar explosion or on the surfaces of neutron stars through the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons). This occurs at extremely high temperatures, but at relatively low energies. An international ...

Trembling aspen leaves could save future Mars rovers

March 18, 2019

Researchers at the University of Warwick have been inspired by the unique movement of trembling aspen leaves, to devise an energy harvesting mechanism that could power weather sensors in hostile environments and could even ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

betterexists
1 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2018
Osiris1
1 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2018
Interesting is the comment at the end concerning the promise of much greater charge density in quantum cells. Like a battery is a collection of cells, much greater charge density would result in, say, Tesla cars that could go over 4,000 miles thru mountains on a single charge. And could be refueled by a quantum charger in less than a few seconds. Such could also power a high powered hand held laser...or even phase two lasers of similar frequencies for the Laplacian addition effect of multiplying the laser frequencies thereby creating a working 'star trek' phaser. Such a 'phaser' would not however have and 'stun' setting. It would simply be much better and faster at punching burning holes in targets. You would not want to be a person hit by one of those beams. This would also be very good at the power of smallish high powered free electron quantum lasers for point defense against cruise missiles, Inexpensive, then cruise missiles would be obsolete&no longer work.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.