Scientists from Germany have used the light and the atom to obtain the status of “schrödinger cat” – and repeatedly achieved a state of superposition.
One of the world’s most famous thought experiments appeared in a new light. So, in 1935, Erwin Schrodinger formulated a thought experiment illustrating the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. Today, a group of researchers led by Professor Gerhard Rempe, Director of the Department of quantum dynamics, Institute of quantum optics max Planck society, able to realize the optical version of the thought experiment schrödinger in the laboratory. So, the role of the cat was made by pulses of laser light. Insights obtained as a result of the project, open new prospects for advanced control of optical States, which may in the future be used in quantum communications. The study described in the article of the journal Nature Photonics.
“According to the idea of schrödinger microscopic particle such as an individual atom can exist in two different States simultaneously. This is called superposition. Moreover, when such a particle interacts with a macroscopic object, they can “get lost”, and a macroscopic object can come into a state of superposition. Schrödinger proposed the example of a cat can be both dead and alive, depending on whether a radioactive atom disintegrated or not – this idea is in direct contradiction with daily experience,” explains Professor Rempe.
To implement this thought experiment in a physics lab turned to different model systems. In this case, was carried out the scheme proposed by theorists Wang, and Duan in 2005. In her “role” the cat plays a superposition of two States of the optical pulse. Experimental techniques necessary for conducting this experiment was developed by the group of Rempe.