Connect with us

Science & Technology

Researchers Tune in to Smallest Radio Frequency in Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Tunes

A weak radio signal isn’t only a problem when you’re trying to tune in to your favorite radio station, a weak signal is a huge problem for MRIs in hospitals and telescopes peering into space.

Normally we fix a weak signal by moving closer to the source or picking a different radio station but what if instead, we could just listen more carefully? Scientists at Delft University of Technology have created a quantum circuit that enables them to listen to the weakest radio signal allowed by quantum mechanics. Their research was published Friday in the journal Science.

Not Your Grandpa’s Radio

One quirk of quantum mechanics is the theory that energy can only come in set units, called “quanta”. It is only possible to have whole units, nothing in between. “Say I am pushing a kid on a swing,” said lead researcher Mario Gely, “In the classical theory of physics, if I want the kid to go a little bit faster I can give them a small push, giving them more speed and more energy. Quantum mechanics says something different: I can only increase the kid’s energy one ‘quantum step’ at a time. Pushing by half of that amount is not possible.”

Before the Delft team developed their circuit we could only adjust radio signals in the form of “a small push” or a tiny imprecise amount. With a new quantum circuit, researchers are able to tune to specific quanta of radio frequencies. The more precise frequencies could help improve the accuracy of MRIs and radio telescopes but may also teach us even more about quantum mechanics, gravity, and physics.

Space-Time Superimposition

The Delft team’s quantum circuit could help lead to new avenues of scientific discovery. They next hope to explore the way gravity interacts with quantum physics, something that still puzzles physicists today.

“Using our quantum radio, we want to try to listen to and control the quantum vibrations of heavy objects, and explore experimentally what happens when you mix quantum mechanics and gravity”, Gely said. “Such experiments are hard, but if successful we would be able to test if we can make a quantum superposition of space-time itself.”

Quantum spacetime is a theory of mathematical physics in which some variables of spacetime are slightly different than they usually are, leading to a slightly different mathematical understanding of our universe. The proposed quantum superposition experiment is one which Gely says would “test our understanding of both quantum mechanics and general relativity.”

READ MORE: Listening to Quantum Radio [Deflt University of Technology]

Source link

Advertisement
Comments

Science & Technology

Quantum Physicists Have Successfully Teleported A Qutrit For The Very First Time

Quantum teleportation has been a term related to qubits for the longest time and recently, researchers have successfully teleported ‘qutrits’. The research published on American Physical Society is a major breakthrough that will propel the quantum computation prowess to incredibly faster speeds.

Scientists have been able to teleport qubits, Quantum Bits of information that have binary states – 0 or 1 – but qutrits have three possible states – 0, 1 and 2. Qubits and qutrits have the property of being able to exist in multiple states at the same time, i.e. superposition which allows for amazing applications in quantum computing.

Quantum Teleportation is based on quantum entanglement, through which the properties of a quantum particle can be transferred to a distant particle without physical movement of the particle itself. It is nothing like the ‘Warp Speed’ or ‘Warp Drive’ that has been popularized in sci-fi but rather, it is just two interlinked particles revealing the properties of the other particle. Quantum teleportation is possible by using photons which carry the quantum information about the two possible states in case of qubits or three possible states as in qutrits.

Splitting the photon into three beams through the use of an intricate contraption consisting of calibrated setup of lasers, beam splitters and barium boratecrystals, the researcher created their qutrits. They also said that it could be possible to use ququarts in the future. With 0.75 fidelity over 12 states of entanglement, the researchers were able to prove that qutrit teleportation is possible.

The research will surely propel the quantum technology to the next level as quantum teleportation is an integral part of quantum computing applications.

Source mashable.com

Continue Reading

Science & Technology

“Thousands of Solar Reflector Satellites” Could Warm Up Mars

Space Retreat

Since 2015, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made it abundantly clear that he really wants to nuke Mars in order to terraform it — and, presumably, turn it into a habitable space retreat for billionaires.

But he might have a plan B up his sleeve that wouldn’t risk turning the Red Planet into a gigantic planet-sized Chernobyl.

“Might make sense to have thousands of solar reflector satellites to warm Mars versus artificial suns,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. Then he added, cautiously: “TBD.”

Martian Mirrors

That idea might not be as crazy as it sounds: using orbital mirrors to terraform Mars was suggested by University of Arizona undergrad Rigel Woida back in 2006 — a suggestion that won him a NASA fellowship at the time.

According to Woida’s paper from 2007, the idea was to have a “network of two to three hundred, 150 meter diameter reflectors in monolith form or a series of small clustered groups” to warm the Martian surface.

Artificial Suns

Musk also elaborated on his Plan A — “nuke Mars” — on Twitter: drop a “continuous stream of very low fallout nuclear fusion explosions above the atmosphere to create artificial suns.” After all, the Sun is technically an “immense thermonuclear explosion” itself, as he explained last week.

But for that to ever happen, NASA would have to change its stance on the matter. Just over a year ago, NASA research found that nuking Mars wouldn’t be enough to turn it into an Earth-like holiday destination.

READ MORE: Elon Musk ponders solar reflectors instead of nuking Mars to warm it up [CNET]

Source link

Continue Reading

Science & Technology

We Have a Cure for the Deadliest Form of Tuberculosis

The Food and Drug Administration just approved the third and final part of a new drug regimen shown to cure the deadliest strain of tuberculosis.

The regimen involves taking five pills every day for six months straight, but that’s nothing compared to the existing treatment, which requires 40 daily pills for two years, according to The New York Times. And in a small clinical trial, the new treatment was shown to cure the rare, deadly XDR strain of tuberculosis in 90 percent of people, suggesting that the disease could soon become much more manageable.

Tuberculosis is still a major problem in a large chunk of the world. The disease is the most common infectious cause of death on Earth, the NYT writes, and the XDR strain had already built up a resistance to all four types of antibiotics that doctors currently use to treat it.

Ten million people catch XDR tuberculosis every year. Three-quarters of those people die before they get any treatment, per the NYT, and existing cures only worked on just over a third of the remainders.

The new treatment requires three separate drugs, the newest of which just got FDA approval. Gerald Friedland, one of the scientists who discovered the XDR strain told the NYT that he thought the recent experiment was “a wonderful trial.”

“If this works as well as it seems to,” he said, “we need to do this now.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending