Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Somebody Explain This to Me

In an official news release (August 5, 2008), Max Hofheinz and two other University of California at Santa Barbara physicists announced that they used a superconducting electronic circuit known as a Josephson phase qubit, developed in a laboratory, to controllably pump microwave photons, one at a time, into a superconducting microwave resonator.

"The resonator is the electrical equivalent of a pendulum," Hofheinz said. "In quantum mechanics the energy, or amplitude of motion of this pendulum, only comes in finite steps, in quanta. We first carefully prepared the resonator in these quantum states, and showed we could do this controllably and then measure the states.

“Then we 'kicked' the pendulum directly, a method where the amplitude can take on any value, and appears to not be limited to these quanta. But when we look at the resonator with our qubit, we see that the amplitude does come in steps, but that the resonator is actually in several such states at the same time, so that on average it looks like it is not limited to the quantum states."

I kid you not!

3 comments:

casch said...

huh??!!

Nerds? or is it me?

Montee said...

Say what?

Bevlove said...

Well, this is about clear as mud ... LOL.