National Monitor has the story about a new direct measurement process that will allow physicists to measure quantum states quickly and accurately.
Scientists at the University of Rochester have begun to apply a faster, single-experiment measurement process to multidimensional quantum states known as direct measurement. Previously, measuring a 27-dimension quantum state required a costly, time consuming process called quantum tomography that was akin to creating a 3D image from many 2D images.
The genius of direct measurement lies in its two-stage measuring process. Typically, measuring a quantum state changes it irreversibly. For the first, or “weak” stage of the direct measurement process, scientists measure the state so gently that the system is only slightly altered and doesn’t result in the collapse of the wavefunction. Because it remains intact, this allows a subsequent, or “strong” measurement of the other variable.
“It is sort of like peeking into the box to see if Schrödinger’s cat is alive, without fully opening the box,” said lead author Dr. Mehul Malik, currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Vienna and who was a Ph.D. in Boyd’s group when the work was performed. “The weak measurement is essentially a bad measurement, which leaves you mostly uncertain about whether the cat is alive or dead. It does, however, give partial information on the health of the cat, which when repeated many times can lead to near certain information as to whether the cat is alive or dead.”
“Schrödinger’s cat” is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a cat that may be both alive and dead, depending on an earlier random event. Although the experiment was never meant to be taken literally, similar principles have been researched and used in practical applications.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.