The University of Chicago‘s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering Researchers have made an important finding that could lead to the construction of a new form of quantum computer through sound waves. They are investigating the quantum properties of phonons, the indivisible quantum particles that comprise a sound beam, using sound wave physics.
Exploring the Quantum Properties of Phonons at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
Researchers at the University of Chicago‘s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering achieved a groundbreaking discovery and revealed that phonons, which are indivisible quantum particles of sound, exhibit quantum qualities including superposition and entanglement, paving the way for the construction of a new generation of quantum computers.
This ability is also observed in photons of light, where a photon can be in two places at the same time. The analysis demonstrated that phonons, like photons, have the same quantum superposition feature.
An intriguing question arises: what occurs when two identical phonons are directed toward a beam splitter from opposite directions? The answer lies in the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect. Surprisingly, each phonon enters a superposition state, equally divided between transmission and reflection. However, when the timing of the phonons is precisely controlled, they quantum-mechanically interfere with one another due to the physics of the beam splitter. As a result, a superposition state emerges, with the two phonons traveling in opposite directions and becoming quantum-mechanically entangled. It has now been successfully demonstrated using sound.
Phonons: The Key to Next-Generation Quantum Computers
These groundbreaking discoveries lay the foundation for the development of a new type of quantum computer known as a quantum mechanical computer. Instead of relying on photons or electronic qubits like traditional quantum computers, this next-generation technology harnesses the power of phonons.
The implementation of phonon-based technology in quantum computing holds immense potential, not only to enhance quantum processing capabilities but also to enable novel advancements within the industry. The fusion of phonon-based and traditional quantum computing could unlock uncharted avenues of progress.
Its execution would have a significant impact on quantum computing and potentially provide new processing capabilities. Furthermore, combining phonon-based technology with traditional quantum computers could open up new avenues in the industry.
Although the technology for creating and detecting individual phonons is still in the early stages of development, this breakthrough in understanding the quantum characteristics of sound is a significant step towards building a functional quantum mechanical computer.