Seminar Department of Quantum Nanoscience by Ronald Hanson
Technical University Delft 14-1-2015
Of all the implications of today’s quantum theory, quantum entanglement might be one of the weirdest. The basic idea of quantum entanglement is that it is possible that two particles are in some way linked, without being close to each other. This implies that it is theoretically possible to have, for example, two electrons entangled, while holding them light-years apart from each other. The important and extremely weird feature of this entanglement is, that if you then measure the state of only one of the electrons, the state of the entangled electron is automatically determined. Using this, you could “send” information to the other end of the universe, in fact you could actually teleport information instantaneously through space! A physicist familiar with the concept of special relativity might now be concerned that Einstein’s second postulate* is violated, but that is in fact not the case, since the information has not travelled through the space in between the two entangled particles.
At the Department of Quantum Nanoscience TU Delft, the team of Ronald Hanson is investigating the technology associated with practical applications of this quantum teleportation. The Ronald Hanson lab was actually the first team in the world to teleport information between quantum bits of different computer chips. They did this over a distance of 3 meters, using diamonds that contained Nitrogen-Vacancy centers. These NVs are like atomic prisons in the diamond structure, containing an isolated Nitrogen atom and a lattice vacancy. In normal diamonds, these NVs would be imperfections, but they might come out perfect to us if we will learn to use them to our advantage, like the Hanson lab. An additional benefit to this great technology is that it happens with 100% certainty. This means that the information being sent is 100% sure to end up at the receiver (and nowhere else). One can only imagine in how many ways this technology can and will be exploited in future applications. One of the applications, that might not be as far away as we think right now, is a Quantum Computer. This is basically a computer that exists of bits that do not necessarily have the value 0 or 1, but have a blurry value in between. Together with Leo Kouwenhoven (from my last post), Ronald Hanson is taking important steps towards the future with this research.
For more and more detailed information about this specific research topic, see also:
Kasper Spoelstra – firstname.lastname@example.org
* Einsteins second postulate says that the speed of light is the same in all inertial reference frames and that nothing can exceed the speed of light.