Saturday 25 October 2014

Space-Time Affects Behaviour of Hypothetical Quantum

With regards to quantum physic, one often comes across a phrase `quantum field theory’, which is referred to the general idea that quantum particles are just localized excited states of a general quantum field that underlies them, though it is mathematically a useful idea which interacts with Einstein’s classical conception of space-time in a complex ways.

Gravity is the outcome of curvature in the ineffable medium of space-time and modern quantum physics states that curved space-time should somehow affect the behaviour of hypothetical quantum.

One option to explore the link between the general relativity and quantum mechanics is to learn the physics which occurs on a small scale in highly curved space-time, though these conditions tend to occur only in most extreme environments like at the edge of block holes or in instances after the Big bang. However, physicists now tend to describe the possibility to create curved space-time in ordinary quantum optics lab.

Space-time Curving – Difficult Synthetically

Space-time curving is quite difficult synthetically. It is easy through classical means though to generate a curve steep with measurable effects on single quantum particles; it may need densities which are found only near black holes and the like. In a more direct way, curving space-time with magnetic fields or `exotic matter, was proposed in halls as hallowed like those at NASA, though such technology enables to build a literal warp drive.

German researcher, Nikodem Szpak had found a loophole which helped to study the effects of curved space-time without the need to actually curve it. His idea was that the ultracold atoms embedded in optical lattice were mathematically equivalent to quantum field in curved space-time and instead of finding a solution to the equations which describe quantum fields and together with curved space-times, there was a possibility to measure the behaviour rather than in any decent quantum optics lab.

Laws of Quantum Mechanics

The overlapping of two laser beams created an interference pattern and on careful control on the shape and frequency of the lasers, physicists were capable of creating interference patterns which took the shape of egg boxes.

This comes useful in trapping ultracold atoms that could settle in the minima in the field wherein the structure is known as optical lattice which is a standard fare in any quantum optic lab across the globe.

When the atoms tend to be close to absolute zero, they are not entirely still which is due to the laws of quantum mechanics enabling them to tunnel from a position to another in the optical lattice. Moreover, Szpak has also indicated that there is a formal mathematical analogy with this movement of atoms through the optical lattice together with their movement through quantum field in a flat space-time.

The pattern of movement of the atoms in an optical lattice is equivalent to the way they would move in a quantum field in a flat space-time and when the optical lattice tends to be regular, it is equivalent to a flat space-time. However, changing the optical set up in order that it varies in space would be equivalent in creating a curved space-time.

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