Researchers from Yale University reached a new conclusion in the case of Schrödinger’s Cat. Physicists now think that the fictional creature may be able to exist in two boxes at once, both dead and alive.
The initial scene is a cat trapped in an explosion-proof box with a bomb. Quantum theories say that the cat would be both dead and alive until the box would be opened. In other words, an observer would collapse the wave function when measuring the outcome of a potential change.
The new study involves another particle behavior, the entanglement. This property of particles implies modifications in one particle created by changes of status in its partner particle.
The scenario of this second experiment involves a cat that would be both dead and alive in two boxes at the same time.
In order to simulate particles’ behavior, physicists created two cavities able to contain microwave energy. The microwave packets were, in fact, the fictional cat in the experiment. Then, the two cavities were connected with a superconducting atom and scientists observed how they interacted with each other.
Results had shown a similarity of 81 percent between the microwave packs, which means that the electric field between the two cavities was found to be in sync.
This experiment is intended to bring new data in the quantum computing field. Quantum computing deals with processing information in a much faster manner than the one possible today.
One of its goals is to discover ways to create powerful computers that would be quicker than any device we have.
A significant interest in quantum computing is error correction that would not affect data quality.
„Generating a cat in two boxes is the first step towards logical operation between two quantum bits in an error correctible manner,” said the director of the Yale Quantum Institute, Robert Schoelkopf.
Yale researchers believe that this new experiment may help to simulate a quantum information redundancy and give clues on how to correct it.
The first time the idea was expressed was in 1935, when the 20th century physicist Erwin Schrödinger started to wonder what would happen if large objects would behave like the subatomic particles.
Quantum physics calls superposition the property of a particle of having two conditions at the same time. This property of particles became the basis for quantum computing.
Far from being just an anectodical story, this new experiment would hopefully help scientists to discover ways to build more efficient computers.
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