This week in Science, the research impacts quantum computing and electronics with atomic-scale cables.
Electrons are tiny, tiny, inseparable particles. Apart from this, quantum mechanics states that their two components — spin and charging — move at different speeds through one-sided cables.
Rice physicist Randy Hulet, Ruwan Senaratne, and Danyel Cavazos have created a calm environment where they can repeatedly watch and photograph the refined version of this quantum exhibition and collaborate with the theater experts from Rice, China, Australia, and -Italy with published results.
Quantum simulators exploit the quantum structures of natural objects such as atoms, ions, or molecules to solve complex or impossible problems with standard computers. Rice’s spin-charge simulator uses lithium atoms as an electron representation and a light channel instead of a 1D electronic cable.
The atmosphere is filled with heat that interferes with the functioning of the quantum atom. Hulet’s team used laser cooling to make its atoms 1 million times colder than most of the most incredible natural materials in the universe to detect quantum effects on lithium. Additional lenses have created a 1D light channel or optical waveguide.
Ideal made real
Electrons are antisocial quantum particles that refuse to share space, and Spin-charge separation is a reflection of the same abomination in 1D. It was theoretically designed by physicists Shinichiro Tomonaga and Joaquin Luttinger about 60 years ago. But measuring electronics has proved to be very difficult.
Hulet, Professor of Rice’s Fayez Sarofim of Physics and a member of the Rice Quantum Initiative, said the simulation could investigate the physics of spin-charge division in an unprecedented way.