Mathematics to improve the efficiency and design of quantum machines

The work could be applied in the design of thermometers for small quantum devices at low temperatures.

The next great revolution in data processing goes through quantum physics, that part of physics that studies how the smallest elements, such as atoms and quarks, behave. However, scientists have not yet come up with all the keys that govern behaviors like the quantum fluctuation of energy.

A team of Spanish and British researchers with the participation of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) has derived a series of mathematical formulas to understand the fluctuations that occur in quantum systems when certain magnitudes appear. The work, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications, provides the basis for studying the efficiency of quantum machines and improving their design.A quantum machine works in the world of extremely small things. The laws of quantum mechanics allow impossible effects for current technology, such as, for example, that an acoustic resonator vibrates with a large and small amplitude at the same time.

The team of scientists, also composed of researchers from the University of Oxford and the Complutense University, has proven the usefulness of these theorems with numerical simulations by computer in systems of atoms trapped by electromagnetic fields, which are one of the most used experimental systems in quantum technologies.

J. Mur-Petit et al., 2018. Revealing missing charges with generalised quantum fluctuation relationsNature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04407-1

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