Thursday, September 24, 2009

Massive Violation of Bell's Inequality

Violation of Bell's inequality in Josephson phase qubits in Nature.
The measurement process plays an awkward role in quantum mechanics, because measurement forces a system to 'choose' between possible outcomes in a fundamentally unpredictable manner. Therefore, hidden classical processes have been considered as possibly predetermining measurement outcomes while preserving their statistical distributions1. However, a quantitative measure that can distinguish classically determined correlations from stronger quantum correlations exists in the form of the Bell inequalities, measurements of which provide strong experimental evidence that quantum mechanics provides a complete description2, 3, 4. Here we demonstrate the violation of a Bell inequality in a solid-state system. We use a pair of Josephson phase qubits5, 6, 7 acting as spin-1/2 particles, and show that the qubits can be entangled8, 9 and measured so as to violate the Clauser–Horne–Shimony–Holt (CHSH) version of the Bell inequality10. We measure a Bell signal of 2.0732 0.0003, exceeding the maximum amplitude of 2 for a classical system by 244 standard deviations. In the experiment, we deterministically generate the entangled state, and measure both qubits in a single-shot manner, closing the detection loophole11. Because the Bell inequality was designed to test for non-classical behaviour without assuming the applicability of quantum mechanics to the system in question, this experiment provides further strong evidence that a macroscopic electrical circuit is really a quantum system7.

Genetic Structure of India

Indian ancestry revealed in Nature.
"The mixing of two distinct lineages led to most modern-day Indians."

Ultra-Cold Microscale Optomechanical Oscillator

Demonstration of an ultracold micro-optomechanical oscillator in a cryogenic cavity
Preparing and manipulating quantum states of mechanical resonators is a highly interdisciplinary undertaking that now receives enormous interest for its far-reaching potential in fundamental and applied science. Up to now, only nanoscale mechanical devices achieved operation close to the quantum regime. We report a new micro-optomechanical resonator that is laser cooled to a level of 30 thermal quanta. This is equivalent to the best nanomechanical devices, however, with a mass more than four orders of magnitude larger (43 ng versus 1 pg) and at more than two orders of magnitude higher environment temperature (5 K versus 30 mK). Despite the large laser-added cooling factor of 4,000 and the cryogenic environment, our cooling performance is not limited by residual absorption effects. These results pave the way for the preparation of 100-um scale objects in the quantum regime. Possible applications range from quantum-limited optomechanical sensing devices to macroscopic tests of quantum physics.

Observation of strong coupling between a micromechanical resonator and an optical cavity field
Achieving coherent quantum control over massive mechanical resonators is a current research goal. Nano- and micromechanical devices can be coupled to a variety of systems, for example to single electrons by electrostatic or magnetic coupling, and to photons by radiation pressure or optical dipole forces. So far, all such experiments have operated in a regime of weak coupling, in which reversible energy exchange between the mechanical device and its coupled partner is suppressed by fast decoherence of the individual systems to their local environments. Controlled quantum experiments are in principle not possible in such a regime, but instead require strong coupling. So far, this has been demonstrated only between microscopic quantum systems, such as atoms and photons (in the context of cavity quantum electrodynamics) or solid state qubits and photons. Strong coupling is an essential requirement for the preparation of mechanical quantum states, such as squeezed or entangled states, and also for using mechanical resonators in the context of quantum information processing, for example, as quantum transducers. Here we report the observation of optomechanical normal mode splitting, which provides unambiguous evidence for strong coupling of cavity photons to a mechanical resonator. This paves the way towards full quantum optical control of nano- and micromechanical devices.

Nature 460, 724-727 (2009)
DOI: 10.1038/nature08171