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Scientists Record Quantum Behavior of Electrons Via Laser Lights

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the spinning-lasers dept.

Shark 33

An anonymous reader writes in with news about a breakthrough in recording quantum behavior in electrons. A group of researchers has said that they have come up with a new method to record and control electron behavior at the quantum mechanical level. The research team, headed by the scientists at the University of Chicago, used laser lights in ultra-fast pulses for the experiment. The laser light controlled the quantum state of electrons. It contained inside nanoscale defects in a diamond. The researchers observed changes in that electron over a time period. They focused on the quantum mechanical property of electrons known as spin. Lead author David Awschalom, a molecular engineering professor at a university in Chicago, said, "These defects have attracted great interest of the scientists over the past decade. They provide a test-bed system for developing semiconductor quantum bits as well as nanoscale sensors."

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4.4 trillion (2)

emagery (914122) | about 3 months ago | (#47689203)

Now just combine this, in some way, with that new 4.4 trillion FPS camera some other scientists recently invented.

Re:4.4 trillion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47691337)

Okay, we duct taped them together. Now what?

And before you ask, no, the tape isn't sticking to the shark very well.

Well, that's clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689231)

The light amplified by stimulated emission of radiation light? As opposed to laser sounds or laser smells?

who wrote this submission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689271)

who wrote this submission. him name hopkin green frog.

Re: who wrote this submission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689411)

The words are there in this item, but there is a distinct lack of meaning in several places. I think we need to shine "laser light" on it to figure out what the hell it's all about. How does news writing like this: "...professor at A university in Chicago..." Get on Slashdot? Are we still talking about the University of Chicago named previously or is this some other, unnamed university in that city? And "It contained inside nanoscale defects in a diamond." isn't even a complete sentence. This story is worse than useless if it's going to misinform. Fix or remove.

Total information awareness (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 3 months ago | (#47689307)

We now can tell exactly how fast this electron is going. Unfortunately, now we can't find it.

Re:Total information awareness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689457)

That's OK. Our measurements altered the state of the electrons when we measured them, so we're actually still not sure what happens to the electrons when we don't look at them. Maybe they turn into chickens or something when we're not looking.

Somehow we've lost the last 4 electrons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689503)

Cat: Did you look behind the fridge? If you lose something it's nearly always there.
Rimmer: ALIENS!

Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689375)

Ordinary, incremental scientific advance treated as if it is really important. Snooze.

No no no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47689467)

I want the opinion of a programmer or wagnerrp before I can decide if these "scientists" know what they're doing.

Is it just me? (1)

caffeinated_bunsen (179721) | about 3 months ago | (#47689535)

Or does anybody else feel like the summary came straight from the Simple English Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Is it just me? (2)

Netdoctor (95217) | about 3 months ago | (#47689835)

No, it's not just you. It's horribly written.

From the comments:

Dave Shepherd 2 hours ago

This article is poorly written. It is full of grammatical errors and does not read well. The news item deserves better, as do the researchers.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47690373)

I looked at a few articles there and the whole place seems to be written with terrible English like that. This wallstreet otc site seems to be just another fake linkspam blog network that copies and pastes the same articles in thousands of other places [google.com] , and now slashdot has joined the network.

It makes too much sense for computer-generated markov chain type junk, I'm guessing they've got people from India or thereabouts to write articles about press releases from the day before, making it perfect timing to show up on slashdot.

Re:Is it just me? (2)

darenw (74015) | about 3 months ago | (#47692761)

How does one downvote, flag, or throw a rotten tomato at this badly written submission? It must be removed so that Slashdot's high reputation for accuracy, insight, and scientific relevance is not tarnished.

Re:Is it just me? (2)

darenw (74015) | about 3 months ago | (#47692769)

Ooop, sorry for my doing at good english! I meanted to say:

How one to downvote, flag, and throw it rotten tomato to at badly writtened submission? It must. Be removed Slashdot's highly reputatation for the accuracy, incite, and scietific relevance not isn't tarnished.

Heisenberg? (1)

MorphOSX (2511156) | about 3 months ago | (#47690229)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the act of observing the quantum behavior of the electron necessarily change it? I thought one of the fuzzy things about anything "quantum", other than "quantum bullshit", was that its state/behavior is not finite unless observed directly, thus causing it to collapse into a specific state? Or do I have that wrong?

Re:Heisenberg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47690377)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the act of observing the quantum behavior of the electron necessarily change it?

That's what the "Observers" WANT you to believe.

Re:Heisenberg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47690585)

>the act of observing the quantum behavior of the electron necessarily change it

The act of interfering with one of a quantum entangled pair of electrons would collapse the probability wave, yes. But broadly interactive with quantum macro behavior is not really an issue. Note that I did not use "observer" because it is not the observer that does it, it is the interference necessary to take an observation.

They're quoting the article (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 3 months ago | (#47690375)

Guess what? For those of you complaining about the summary, it's a direct quote from the first few lines of the story they're linking to. The anonymous poster is the person who wrote the article being quoted.

"Laser Light"? (2)

Forthan Red (820542) | about 3 months ago | (#47690443)

Anyone else find the term "laser light" to be odd, or at least redundant? Last time I checked, the "L" in laser stood for "Light". It's a bit like calling an ATM an "ATM machine", or when TV's Mr. Monk said, "it made me LOL out loud."

Re:"Laser Light"? (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 3 months ago | (#47690629)

An "ATM machine" is a machine from which you can withdraw ATMs.

Re:"Laser Light"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47699059)

yes, automatically.

Re:"Laser Light"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47691145)

No, we come hear for tech news. Dont be a jerk

Re:"Laser Light"? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 3 months ago | (#47691587)

It's just a typical case of PNS syndrome.

Re:"Laser Light"? (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 3 months ago | (#47693057)

They do it in order to address an audience with a varying background. For this purpose it is actually an excellent literary technique since most readers who are familiar with the subject will just gloss it over while the laymen are still able to get the gist of things.

Re:"Laser Light"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47694281)

I believe "LASER" stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation".

So "laser" would be a process, not the light created, and "the laser" is the apparatus that uses that process, and "laser light" is the light emitted by the laser.

On the matter of electrons (1, Interesting)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 3 months ago | (#47693119)

Electrons have 'spin'. Electrons also have an electric field. Do electrons have a magnetic field? - Yes they do. An electron's magnetic field is its 'spin'.

Why even call it 'spin'? Back in the day the function of magnetism was explained with the 'turtles all the way down' analogy of 'elementary magnets' meaning they didn't have a clue and possibly did not want to admit ignorance.

Today we know that this elementary magnet is the property of an electron spinning on an axis just like a planet does. It can not spin faster or slower, but it can turn to any alignment. When a bunch of electrons line up their axis of spin in this way (and maintain their position), what we get is of course a proper magnet. - Magnetism is therefore a quantum effect on a macroscopic scale.

Magnets interact with bosons, which in lasers do their thing by depleting entropy so that space is bent, aligning the emission of photonic bosons. Emission of photons from electrons is usually in a random direction, but lasers do things differently. - Magnets attract or repulse by bending space because their homogeneous ferromagnetic material locally depletes entropy. The Higgs particle, a boson famous for is ability to cause gravity, bends space too.

The old vestiges of ignorance persist however, among popular press and celebrity scientists who have followers not because of their theories but because of their charisma. It's eppur si muove all over again, though he Vatican did admit they made a mistake after 350 years...

Re:On the matter of electrons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47694173)

Magnetism is therefore a quantum effect on a macroscopic scale.

Some magnetism is the result of aligned particle spin, although there is still plenty around us that is due to macroscopic currents.

Magnets interact with bosons, which in lasers do their thing by depleting entropy so that space is bent, aligning the emission of photonic bosons.

Stimulated emission is the interaction of an incoming photon with the electron before and during transition, not with the soon to be emitted photon. This wouldn't be an example of electromagnetism interacting with a boson, but with a fermion. Photon-photon interactions exist, but do not occur outside of some pretty extreme conditions due to heavy dependence on wavelength and field strength.

Magnets attract or repulse by bending space because their homogeneous ferromagnetic material locally depletes entropy.

Magnetic fields will contribute to local energy density and bend space gravitationally as a result as would anything else that contributes to mass-energy density. Unless you are trying to reference one of the proto-string theory approaches to electromagnetism that treat it geometrically like GR does for gravity, e.g. Kaluza–Klein, although those don't seem to have any evidence one way or another at the moment.

The Higgs particle, a boson famous for is ability to cause gravity, bends space too.

The Higgs particle doesn't cause gravity any more than any other particle with mass. The Higgs field provides a mechanism for providing all or part of mass to some particles, but again comes back to anything with mass will have a gravitational field.

Re:On the matter of electrons (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 3 months ago | (#47719741)

Writing in mild anger, I did not expect a reply, so thanks!

I should have specified 'magnetism in permanent magnet'.

Stimulated emission is the interaction of an incoming photon with the electron before and during transition, not with the soon to be emitted photon.

I read a claim on a .edu that an incident photon can stimulate emission even before it passes an electron. Then when I parroted this information, someone said this was false. - As a student I did not anticipate controversy.

Magnetic fields will contribute to local energy density and bend space gravitationally as a result as would anything else that contributes to mass-energy density.

I'm referring to the much stronger force which you can vividly feel when you hold one magnet in each of your hands and move them close to each other. - I intended to make an extraordinary claim by saying that this is bending space the same way as gravity bends space. I really had forgotten about Kaluza-Klein, but now I might have have developed the intuition to understand it better. - You're saying the LHC doesn't say booh or baah about KK? I find that extraordinary, too.

I intended to write popular science to an audience of laymen, so I skipped some facts. I think it is important for laymen to know that photons are bosons and so are Higgs particles.

All the best to you!

Re:On the matter of electrons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47694777)

The Higgs particle, a boson famous for is ability to cause gravity, bends space too.

Most of the mass of baryonic matter comes from the energy stored in the color confinement field of quarks in particles, not from the Higgs mechanism.

By definition, isn't this impossible??? (1)

franblets (1643087) | about 3 months ago | (#47694769)

Isn't it assumed that the state changes on observation?

Re:By definition, isn't this impossible??? (1)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about 3 months ago | (#47697023)

Someone won a nobel 2 years ago for using a laser to "observe" the electron vector without influencing anything.

Re:By definition, isn't this impossible??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47697903)

The Nobel prize in physics in 2012 was for high quality work for observing systems not being influenced by the environment and for various superposition effects, not because they made observations of the system without changing it. The closest you can get to that is weak measurements, where it still influences the system but by a very small amount that also yields only a small amount of information requiring many repeated measurements. The only way you can get away with measurements not changing the system is if you are measuring a property that the system is already in an eigenstate for.
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