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Physicists can predict (and eventually save) the leaps of Schrödinger's cat



  Physicists can predict (and eventually rescue) the leaps of Schrodinger's cat
Yale researchers have found a way to capture and rescue Schrodinger's famous cat, the symbol of quantum overlay and unpredictability. Picture credits: Kat Stockton

Researchers at Yale have discovered how Schrödinger's famous cat, the symbol of quantum overlay and unpredictability, can be captured and rescued by anticipating its leaps and responding in real time to save them from proverbial demise. In doing so, they overthrow years of cornerstones of quantum physics.

The discovery enables researchers to set up an early warning system for imminent leaps of artificial atoms with quantum information. A study announcing the discovery will appear on June 3 in the online edition of the journal Nature .

Schrödinger's cat is a well-known paradox that is used to illustrate the concept of superposition ̵

1; the ability of two opposite states to exist simultaneously – and unpredictability in quantum physics. The idea is that a cat is housed in a sealed box with a radioactive source and a poison that is released when an atom of the radioactive substance breaks down. The superposition theory of quantum physics suggests that the cat is alive and dead until someone opens the box, a superposition of states. Opening the box to observe the cat causes it to suddenly change its quantum state randomly and either become dead or alive.

Quantum Leap is the discrete (non-continuous) and random change of state when observed.

The experiment, which was conducted in the laboratory by Yale professor Michel Devoret and proposed by the lead author Zlatko Minev, is the first to deal with the actual mode of operation of a quantum leap. The results show a surprising finding, which contradicts the view expressed by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr: The jumps are neither abrupt nor random as previously thought.

For a tiny object like an electron, molecule or an artificial atom with quantum information (known) A quantum leap is the sudden transition from one of its discrete states of energy to another. In the development of quantum computers, researchers must first of all deal with the jumps of qubits, which are manifestations of computational errors.

The enigmatic quantum leaps were theorized by Bohr a century ago, but were not observed in atoms until the 1980s.

"These jumps occur every time we measure a qubit," said Devoret, a professor of applied physics and physics at FW Beinecke in Yale and a member of the Yale Quantum Institute. "Quantum leaps are known to be unpredictable in the long run."

"Nevertheless," Minev added, "we wanted to know if it is possible to get an early warning signal that a jump is imminent."

Minev noted that the experiment was based on a theoretical prediction by Professor Howard Carmichael was inspired by the University of Auckland, a pioneer of the theory of quantum and co-author of the study.

The discovery is a potential big step forward in understanding and controlling quantum information. According to researchers, the reliable management of quantum data and the correction of errors occurring is a key challenge in the development of fully-fledged quantum computers.

The Yale team studied a superconducting artificial atom indirectly using three microwave generators that irradiate the atom enclosed in a 3-D aluminum cavity. Minev's superconducting circuit method of double-indirect monitoring allows researchers to observe the atom with unprecedented efficiency.

Microwave radiation stirs the artificial atom while it is being observed simultaneously, leading to quantum leaps. The tiny quantum signal of these jumps can be amplified without loss of room temperature. Here you can monitor your signal in real time. This allowed the researchers the sudden absence of detection photons (photons emitted by a microwave-excited by-state of the atom); This tiny absence is the warning of a quantum leap.

"The nice effect that this experiment shows is the increase in coherence during the jump, despite its observation," said Devoret. Minev added, "You can use this to not just catch the jump, but reverse it as well."

This is a crucial issue, the researchers said. While quantum leaps appear to be discrete and random in the long run, reversing a quantum leap means that the evolution of the quantum state is partly deterministic and not random; The jump always takes place from its random starting point in the same, predictable way.

"Quantum leaps of an atom are in a way similar to the eruption of a volcano," Minev said. "They are totally unpredictable in the long run, but with the right supervision, we can certainly identify and respond to an early warning of an impending disaster before it occurs.


Extremely accurate measurements of atomic states for quantum computing


Further information:
To catch and reverse a quantum leap in the middle of the flight Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-019-1287-z, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1287-z

Provided by
Yale University




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Physicists can predict (and eventually save) the leaps of Schrodinger's cat (June 3, 2019)
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