Deciphered the phenomenon of quantum uncertainty
Physicists were able to partially decipher the fundamental principle of quantum mechanics, namely the Heisenberg uncertainty relation. For a more accurate determination of both the location and the moment of the particle, 40 thousand rubidium atoms were “squeezed”. Thus, the quantum state of the particles became dependent.
The most significant physical theories – the theory of relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics – are prohibited. So, the theory of relativity prohibits movement at a speed exceeding the speed of light. The theory of quantum mechanics is based on the principle of uncertainty, that is, it is impossible to absolutely accurately determine two parameters of a particle at once – its location and the moment of the particle. If it is possible to accurately determine the location of the particle, then it is impossible to obtain accurate information about its moment, and vice versa.
As you know, prohibitions act annoyingly, make you want to violate them. Prohibitions awaken the inquisitive mind of a scientist, and if they are also absolute, then this can only mean one thing – an eternal “alarm clock” of thought, a source of inspiration for the search for new ideas and new theories.
Quantum uncertainty can be expressed numerically. Most often, this is done using the image of the graphic circle, inside which the real coordinates are placed, as well as the real moment of the particle over which the measurements are made. It is known that it is impossible to change the area of a circle, but you can change the actual shape of the area. Over the past several decades, physicists have learned how to transform a circle into an ellipse and even stretch it into an almost straight line. Thus, the accuracy of any one parameter of the particle measurement is ensured, but at the same time, the accuracy of the measurement of another parameter is noticeably reduced.
This effect is called “squeezing” and is used in science to “squeeze” the parameters of atoms or photons, thereby increasing the measurement accuracy of one of the key parameters. The “squeeze” method is used to achieve maximum accuracy, for example, atomic clocks or magnetic resonance imaging machines. This method is also used in some applications of the military-defense industry.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), under the guidance of physics professor Michael Chapman, managed to achieve the “compression” of the third parameter, which was called the “nematic tensor”, or quadrupole. It is noteworthy that the “compression” of the third parameter occurs not at the level of an individual particle, but at the level of an entire group of particles. The property of nematicity determines the degree of alignment of microparticles in an array of a substance or object and plays an important role in the description of liquid crystals, some high-temperature superconductors, and materials with exotic magnetic properties. In the experiment of American scientists, such a feature as nematicity was needed to describe a special form of matter, which was named “Bose-Einstein condensate”. This type of matter is remarkable in that all the atoms of the specified substance are in the same quantum state. In more detail, the results of the scientists’ research have been published in the journal Nature Physics.
Scientists have already managed to achieve similar results 15 years ago. However, at that time, similar experiments made it possible to carry out experiments on the “compression” of systems of atoms, which can only be in one of two quantum states. Physicists managed to “squeeze” the total angular momentum of such groups, that is, the direction of the emerging magnetic field.
In new experiments conducted by American scientists under the leadership of Chapman, groups of atoms could have one of three quantum states, with the total spin being zero. Until now, no one has been able to carry out such a “squeeze”. New experiments allowed scientists to “squeeze” the nematic tensor in a group of rubidium atoms, the number of atoms being 40 thousand. Rubidium atoms collided with each other, as a result of which some of the atoms had the ability to exchange quantum states. As a result, the atoms became quantum dependent on each other. As Chapman himself says, this behavior of atoms can reduce the measurement uncertainty and make them more accurate.
The observed effect in the future will be extremely important for accurate measurements of magnetic fields. The measurement accuracy is very important in the production of quantum supercomputers, in which the accumulation of information will occur in the spins of atoms and their nematic tensor.
The complexity of further experiments is due to the excessive noise emitted by laboratory instruments. The fact is that this noise is capable of creating its own magnetic fields, which reduce the accuracy of experiments, and, as a consequence, the accuracy of measurements.