Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > An atom chip interferometer that could detect quantum gravity

This is Anupam Mazumdar, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Groningen, co-author of the paper in Science Advances. He aims to develop a test for quantum gravity using atom chips.

CREDIT
University of Groningen
This is Anupam Mazumdar, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Groningen, co-author of the paper in Science Advances. He aims to develop a test for quantum gravity using atom chips. CREDIT University of Groningen

Abstract:
Physicists in Israel have created a quantum interferometer on an atom chip. This device can be used to explore the fundamentals of quantum theory by studying the interference pattern between two beams of atoms. University of Groningen physicist, Anupam Mazumdar, describes how the device could be adapted to use mesoscopic particles instead of atoms. This modification would allow for expanded applications. A description of the device, and theoretical considerations concerning its application by Mazumdar, were published on 28 May in the journal Science Advances.

An atom chip interferometer that could detect quantum gravity

Groningen, the Netherlands | Posted on June 4th, 2021

The device which scientists from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev created is a so-called Stern Gerlach Interferometer, which was first proposed one hundred years ago by German physicists Otto Stern and Walter Gerlach. Their original aim of creating an interferometer with freely propagating atoms exposed to gradients from macroscopic magnets has not been practically realized until now. 'Such experiments have been done using photons, but never with atoms', explains Anupam Mazumdar, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Groningen and one of the co-authors of the article in Science Advances.

Diamonds The Israeli scientists, led by Professor Ron Folman, created an interferometer on an atom chip, which can confine and/or manipulate atoms. A beam of rubidium atoms is levitated over the chip using magnets. Magnetic gradients are used to split the beam according to the spin values of the individual atoms. Spin is a magnetic moment that can have two values, either up or down. The spin-up and spin-down atoms are separated by a magnetic gradient. Subsequently, the two divergent beams are brought together again and recombined. The spin values are then measured, and an interference pattern is formed. Spin is a quantum phenomenon, and throughout this interferometer, the opposing spins are entangled. This makes the interferometer sensitive to other quantum phenomena.

Mazumdar was not involved in the construction of the chip, but he contributed theoretical insights to the paper. Together with a number of his colleagues, he previously proposed an experiment to determine whether gravity is in fact a quantum phenomenon using entangled mesoscopic objects, namely tiny diamonds that can be brought in a state of quantum superposition. 'It would be possible to use these diamonds instead of the rubidium atoms on this interferometer', he explains. However, this process would be highly complex as the device, which is currently operated at room temperature, would need to be cooled down to around 1 Kelvin for the mesoscopic experiment.

Free fall If this is realized, two of these atom chips could free fall together (to neutralize external gravity), so that any interaction occurring between them would depend on the gravitational pull between the two chips. Mazumdar and his colleagues aim to determine whether quantum entanglement of the pair occurs during free fall, which would mean that the force of gravity between the diamonds is indeed a quantum phenomenon. Another application of this experiment is the detection of gravity waves; their deformation of space-time should be visible in the interference pattern.

The actual implementation of this experiment is still a long way off, but Mazumdar is very excited now that the interferometer has been created. 'It is already [a] quantum sensor, although we still have to work out exactly what it can detect. The experiment is like the first steps of a baby - now, we have to guide it to reach maturity.'

###

Reference: Yair Margalit, Or Dobkowski, Zhifan Zhou, Omer Amit, Yonathan Japha, Samuel Moukouri, Daniel Rohrlich, Anupam Mazumdar, Sougato Bose, Carsten Henkel and Ron Folman: Realization of a complete Stern-Gerlach interferometer: Toward a test of quantum gravity Science Advances, online 28 May 2021.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Rene Fransen


@univgroningen

Copyright © University of Groningen

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

Quantum Physics

Princeton-led team discovers unexpected quantum behavior in kagome lattice:Experiments suggest evidence for novel patterns of electronic charge distribution in a kagome material whose handedness can be manipulated with a magnetic field June 18th, 2021

Researchers take quantum encryption out of the lab: Field trial shows simple QKD system works with existing telecommunication network in Italy June 11th, 2021

Quantum holds the key to secure conference calls June 6th, 2021

Using the environment to control quantum devices: A deeper understanding of how the environment impacts quantum behaviour is bringing quantum devices one step closer to widespread adoption June 1st, 2021

News and information

Princeton-led team discovers unexpected quantum behavior in kagome lattice:Experiments suggest evidence for novel patterns of electronic charge distribution in a kagome material whose handedness can be manipulated with a magnetic field June 18th, 2021

Atomic-scale tailoring of graphene approaches macroscopic world June 18th, 2021

Compact quantum computer for server centers: Researchers build smallest quantum computer yet based on industry standards June 18th, 2021

Changing a 2D material's symmetry can unlock its promise: Jian Shi Research Group engineers material into promising optoelectronic June 18th, 2021

Physics

Researchers take quantum encryption out of the lab: Field trial shows simple QKD system works with existing telecommunication network in Italy June 11th, 2021

Possible Futures

AI app could help diagnose HIV more accurately: Pioneering technology developed by UCL (University College London) and Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) researchers could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results, particularly in low- and middle-income June 18th, 2021

Atomic-scale tailoring of graphene approaches macroscopic world June 18th, 2021

Compact quantum computer for server centers: Researchers build smallest quantum computer yet based on industry standards June 18th, 2021

Changing a 2D material's symmetry can unlock its promise: Jian Shi Research Group engineers material into promising optoelectronic June 18th, 2021

Discoveries

AI app could help diagnose HIV more accurately: Pioneering technology developed by UCL (University College London) and Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) researchers could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results, particularly in low- and middle-income June 18th, 2021

Atomic-scale tailoring of graphene approaches macroscopic world June 18th, 2021

Compact quantum computer for server centers: Researchers build smallest quantum computer yet based on industry standards June 18th, 2021

Changing a 2D material's symmetry can unlock its promise: Jian Shi Research Group engineers material into promising optoelectronic June 18th, 2021

Announcements

Proliferation of electric vehicles based on high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery:A large-capacity anode material is developed for sodium-ion batteries by using low-cost silicone-based oil. This process, if commercialized, is expected to significantly reduce manufacturing June 18th, 2021

AI app could help diagnose HIV more accurately: Pioneering technology developed by UCL (University College London) and Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) researchers could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results, particularly in low- and middle-income June 18th, 2021

Compact quantum computer for server centers: Researchers build smallest quantum computer yet based on industry standards June 18th, 2021

Changing a 2D material's symmetry can unlock its promise: Jian Shi Research Group engineers material into promising optoelectronic June 18th, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Princeton-led team discovers unexpected quantum behavior in kagome lattice:Experiments suggest evidence for novel patterns of electronic charge distribution in a kagome material whose handedness can be manipulated with a magnetic field June 18th, 2021

AI app could help diagnose HIV more accurately: Pioneering technology developed by UCL (University College London) and Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) researchers could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results, particularly in low- and middle-income June 18th, 2021

Compact quantum computer for server centers: Researchers build smallest quantum computer yet based on industry standards June 18th, 2021

Changing a 2D material's symmetry can unlock its promise: Jian Shi Research Group engineers material into promising optoelectronic June 18th, 2021

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project