Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-02-06

Focus

Photon and Neutron Community ready to act as a go-between for the e-Infrastructures and user communities ...

Bridging socio-cultural distance in science through technical community-engaging mechanisms ...

Exascale supercomputing

How to improve data management in the supercomputers of the future ...

Crowd computing

Your computer can help scientists search for new childhood cancer treatments ...

Quantum computing

Quantum phase transition observed for the first time ...

Quantum matter: Shaken, but not stirred ...

First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer ...

Focus on Europe

PRACE opens Tier-1 for Tier-0 service ...

Middleware

New version of Univa Unisight 4.1 provides comprehensive tool to support IT purchasing decisions ...

Czech TV speeds broadcast and production delivery with DDN's fully integrated MEDIAScaler platform ...

Optimized compiler yields more-efficient parallel programmes ...

Hardware

Three magnetic states for each hole: researchers investigate the potential of metal grids for electronic components ...

Making the switch to polarization diversity ...

SDSC's 'Comet' supercomputer surpasses '10,000 users' milestone ...

New Cheyenne supercomputer triples scientific capability with greater efficiency ...

GBP 3.2 million for Midlands-based high performance computing centre ...

Applications

Machine learning accurately predicts metallic defects ...

Jupiter Medical Center implements revolutionary Watson for Oncology to help oncologists make data-driven cancer treatment decisions ...

University of Delaware's Anderson Janotti receives NSF Career Award to model defects in complex materials ...

Supercomputing and experiment combine for first look at magnetism of real nanoparticle ...

Researchers flip script for Li-Ion electrolytes to simulate better batteries ...

Huawei and SURFsara join forces for ICT innovation in Smart Healthcare and Smart Energy ...

The shape of melting in two dimensions: University of Michigan team uses Titan to explore fundamental phase transitions ...

Nature Geoscience highlights CALIOPE's ability to "provide decision makers with the information they need to take preventive action" on air quality ...

Magnetic recording with light and no heat on garnet ...

Breaking the jargon barrier ...

Carnegie Mellon Artificial Intelligence beats top poker pros ...

Preventing blood clots with a new metric for heart function: Simulations on Stampede supercomputer reveal better way of predicting future clots in the left ventricle ...

Berkeley Lab resources used to model superluminous supernova in 2D for first time ...

The Cloud

Utilities regulators see value in the Cloud and Cloud technology investments as critical to utilities' success ...

Quantum phase transition observed for the first time


This is the probability distribution showing the equal likelihood for the cavity being transparent and opaque at the critical point. Credit: J. Fink.
2 Feb 2017 Klosterneuburg - A group of scientists led by Johannes Fink from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) reported the first experimental observation of a first-order phase transition in a dissipative quantum system. Phase transitions are something we often encounter in everyday life, for example when watching the freezing of water. But they also occur at the quantum mechanical level, where they are - in spite of their importance for various fields of physics - relatively unexplored.

One example of a phase transition at the quantum level is the photon-blockade breakdown, which was only discovered two years ago. During photon blockade, a photon fills a cavity in an optical system and prevents other photons from entering the same cavity until it leaves, hence blocking the flow of photons. But if the photon flux increases to a critical level, a quantum phase transition has been predicted to occur: The photon blockade breaks down, and the state of the system changes from opaque to transparent. This specific phase transition has now been experimentally observed by researchers who, for the first time, managed to meet the very specific conditions that are necessary to fully study this effect.

During a phase transition, the continuous tuning of an external parameter, for example temperature, leads to a transition between two robust steady states with different attributes. First-order phase transitions are characterized by a coexistence of the two stable phases when the control parameter is within a certain range close to the critical value. The two phases form a mixed-phase in which some parts have completed the transition and others have not, like in a glass in which ice and water are present at the same time. The experimental results that Johannes Fink and his collaborators will publish in the journalPhysical Review Xgive an insight into the quantum mechanical basis of this effect in a microscopic, zero-dimensional system.

Their set-up consisted of a microchip with a superconducting microwave resonator acting as the cavity and a few superconducting qubits acting as the atoms. The chip was cooled to a temperature astoundingly close to absolute zero - 0.01 Kelvin - so that thermal fluctuations did not play a role. To produce a flux of photons, the researchers then sent a continuous microwave tone to the input of the resonator on the chip. On the output side they amplified and measured the transmitted microwave flux. For certain input powers they detected a signal flipping stochastically between zero transmission and full transmission: the expected coexistence of both phases had occurred. "We have observed this random switching between opaque and transparent for the first time and in agreement with theoretical predictions", stated lead author Johannes Fink from IST Austria.

Potential future applications are memory storage elements as well as processors for quantum simulation. "Our experiment took exactly 1.6 milliseconds to complete for any given input power. The corresponding numerical simulation took a couple of days on a national supercomputer cluster. This gives an idea why these systems could be useful for quantum simulations", Johannes Fink explained.

Johannes Fink came to IST Austria in 2016 to start his working group on Quantum Integrated Devices. The main objective of his group is to advance and integrate quantum technology for chip-based computation, communication, and sensing.

Source: Institute of Science and Technology Austria

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-02-06

Focus

Photon and Neutron Community ready to act as a go-between for the e-Infrastructures and user communities ...

Bridging socio-cultural distance in science through technical community-engaging mechanisms ...

Exascale supercomputing

How to improve data management in the supercomputers of the future ...

Crowd computing

Your computer can help scientists search for new childhood cancer treatments ...

Quantum computing

Quantum phase transition observed for the first time ...

Quantum matter: Shaken, but not stirred ...

First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer ...

Focus on Europe

PRACE opens Tier-1 for Tier-0 service ...

Middleware

New version of Univa Unisight 4.1 provides comprehensive tool to support IT purchasing decisions ...

Czech TV speeds broadcast and production delivery with DDN's fully integrated MEDIAScaler platform ...

Optimized compiler yields more-efficient parallel programmes ...

Hardware

Three magnetic states for each hole: researchers investigate the potential of metal grids for electronic components ...

Making the switch to polarization diversity ...

SDSC's 'Comet' supercomputer surpasses '10,000 users' milestone ...

New Cheyenne supercomputer triples scientific capability with greater efficiency ...

GBP 3.2 million for Midlands-based high performance computing centre ...

Applications

Machine learning accurately predicts metallic defects ...

Jupiter Medical Center implements revolutionary Watson for Oncology to help oncologists make data-driven cancer treatment decisions ...

University of Delaware's Anderson Janotti receives NSF Career Award to model defects in complex materials ...

Supercomputing and experiment combine for first look at magnetism of real nanoparticle ...

Researchers flip script for Li-Ion electrolytes to simulate better batteries ...

Huawei and SURFsara join forces for ICT innovation in Smart Healthcare and Smart Energy ...

The shape of melting in two dimensions: University of Michigan team uses Titan to explore fundamental phase transitions ...

Nature Geoscience highlights CALIOPE's ability to "provide decision makers with the information they need to take preventive action" on air quality ...

Magnetic recording with light and no heat on garnet ...

Breaking the jargon barrier ...

Carnegie Mellon Artificial Intelligence beats top poker pros ...

Preventing blood clots with a new metric for heart function: Simulations on Stampede supercomputer reveal better way of predicting future clots in the left ventricle ...

Berkeley Lab resources used to model superluminous supernova in 2D for first time ...

The Cloud

Utilities regulators see value in the Cloud and Cloud technology investments as critical to utilities' success ...