In an amazing development, a group of scientists have successfully used sound waves to communicate to an artificial atom, penning down a new chapter in the history of quantum physics.
A team of researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden carried the experiment and succeeded in making the acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom.
Hailing the discovery, Per Delsing, lead investigator of the experimental research group, said, “We have opened a new door into the quantum world by talking and listening to atoms.”
The new experiment holds a special significance as this is for the very first time that the scientists have established successful interaction between sound waves and atoms. Until now, the interaction between light and atoms has been extensively studied in the field of quantum optics.
While talking about the objective of the exceptional experiment on atoms, Delsing said, “Our long term goal is to harness quantum physics so that we can benefit from its laws, for example in extremely fast computers. We do this by making electrical circuits which obey quantum laws that we can control and study.”
Researchers said they used an artificial atom for the experiment. The artificial atom is an example of an electrical circuit which can behave in the similar way like a regular atom. The artificial atom can be charged up so that it could subsequently emit the energy in the form of a particle.
The atom used in the Chalmers experiment is designed in such a way that it emits and absorbs energy in the form of sound.
Study author Martin Gustafsson said,” According to the theory, the sound from the atom is divided into quantum particles. Such a particle is the weakest sound that can be detected.”
As the sound has the pace to move much slower that the light, the researchers say the acoustic atom has opened the possibilities for taking control over quantum phenomena.
“Due to the slow pace of sound, we will have time to control the quantum particles while they travel. This is difficult to achieve the desired results in case of light, which moves 100,000 times more quickly,” said Gustafsson.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Science.