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Quantum Electro-Mechanics: A New Quantum Technology

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 10:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Konrad Lehnert

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

JILA
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

That an object can be in two distinct places simultaneously is a consequence of quantum theory and a fact routinely invoked to account for the behavior of electrons and atoms. Nevertheless, these superpositions are in conflict with our everyday experience. What is the largest and most tangible object that can be prepared in such a superposition? This question has motivated researchers to fabricate micron-scale mechanical resonators and coax them towards the regime of quantum behavior. Indeed micro-mechanical devices recently reached the quantum regime. In this talk, I will describe how we use electricity to achieve the exquisite control and measurement of micro-mechanical resonators necessary to reach the quantum regime. Having entered this regime, we are now able to pursue many exciting ideas. We endeavor to use mechanical resonators as long-lived memories for the quantum states of electrical circuits. In addition, we are developing the technology to transfer quantum states between two incompatible systems via a mechanical intermediary. In the future, it may even be possible to test quantum theory itself in an unexplored region of mass and size scales.