Cooling a 'massive' solid-state nanoparticle into its quantum ground state

January 30, 2020

In a study probing the boundary between the classical and quantum worlds, researchers laser-cooled a tiny glass nanoparticle with the density of a solid object to a quantum state. The particle they cooled and manipulated, while quite small in itself, is millions of times larger and far more complex than the atomic-scale objects most often used to investigate quantum motion. The researchers' new method may allow for otherwise unachievable quantum manipulations of objects involving large masses and offers a promising new platform for studying macro-quantum physics more broadly. At quantum scales, matter behaves strangely; the physics we use to understand the physical properties of larger objects cease to be useful. Much of what we know about the quantum world has been observed in the smallest of the small - single atoms, molecules and ions, for example. The quantum control of larger, complex particles would allow unprecedented opportunities to test fundamental physics and probe the limits and boundaries between the worlds of classic and quantum mechanics. However, achieving such extreme quantum states in "macroscopic" solid-state particles presents a major challenge. Using lasers to optically levitate, ensnare and cool atoms has enabled the isolation and study of the quantum properties of individual atoms and quantum gasses. Using similar techniques, Uroš Deli? and colleagues trapped and suspended a solid-state 150-nanometer glass sphere containing 100 million atoms. Starting from room temperature, Deli? et al. laser-cooled the nanoparticle to its quantum ground state of motion - a temperature of roughly -273 degrees Celsius. According to the authors, their ability to optically levitate and control the particle facilitates a range of macroscopic quantum experiments.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Quantum Mechanics Articles from Brightsurf:

Theoreticians show which quantum systems are suitable for quantum simulations
A joint research group led by Prof. Jens Eisert of Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown a way to simulate the quantum physical properties of complex solid state systems.

A new interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests reality does not depend on the measurer
For 100 years scientists have disagreed on how to interpret quantum mechanics.

New evidence for quantum fluctuations near a quantum critical point in a superconductor
A study has found evidence for quantum fluctuations near a quantum critical point in a superconductor.

Simulating quantum 'time travel' disproves butterfly effect in quantum realm
Using a quantum computer to simulate time travel, researchers have demonstrated that, in the quantum realm, there is no 'butterfly effect.' In the research, information--qubits, or quantum bits--'time travel' into the simulated past.

Orbital engineering of quantum confinement in high-Al-content AlGaN quantum well
Recently, professor Kang's group focus on the limitation of quantum confine band offset model, the hole states delocalization in high-Al-content AlGaN quantum well are understood in terms of orbital intercoupling.

A Metal-like Quantum Gas: A pathbreaking platform for quantum simulation
Coherent and ultrafast laser excitation creates an exotic matter phase with spatially overlapping electronic wave-functions under nanometric control in an artificial micro-crystal of ultracold atoms.

Fluid mechanics mystery solved
An environmental engineering professor has solved a decades-old mystery regarding the behavior of fluids, a field of study with widespread medical, industrial and environmental applications.

Quantum leap: Photon discovery is a major step toward at-scale quantum technologies
A team of physicists at the University of Bristol has developed the first integrated photon source with the potential to deliver large-scale quantum photonics.

USTC realizes the first quantum-entangling-measurements-enhanced quantum orienteering
Researchers enhanced the performance of quantum orienteering with entangling measurements via photonic quantum walks.

A convex-optimization-based quantum process tomography method for reconstructing quantum channels
Researchers from SJTU have developed a convex-optimization-based quantum process tomography method for reconstructing quantum channels, and have shown the validity to seawater channels and general channels, enabling a more precise and robust estimation of the elements of the process matrix with less demands on preliminary resources.

Read More: Quantum Mechanics News and Quantum Mechanics Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to