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Scientists developed a new quantum tool in a groundbreaking experiment

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Despite extensive research in techniques for experimental synthesis and study of photon and electron orbital angular momentum, neutron-based device design has never been successfully demonstrated. Because neutrons have unique properties, researchers have had to build new tools and develop new approaches to using them.

Scientists at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) have developed a device that produces twisted neutrons with well-specified trajectories angular momentum First time in experimental history. Previously thought impossible, this breakthrough scientific achievement offers a whole new way for scientists to investigate the growth of the next generation of quantum materials. quantum computing To discover and solve new problems in fundamental physics.

Dr. Dusan Sarenac, Research Associate at IQC and Technical Leader for Transformative Quantum Technologies at the University of Waterloo, said: neutron It is a powerful probe for the characterization of new quantum materials because it has several unique features. They have nanometer-sized wavelengths, electroneutrality, and relatively large masses. These features mean that neutrons can pass through materials that X-rays and light cannot. “

Dr. Dmitry Pushin, a faculty member of the IQC and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and his group constructed a small silicon lattice structure resembling a fork for research. These devices are so small that over 6 million fork dislocation phase gratings can be found in just 0.5 cm × 0.5 cm. As a single stream of neutrons passes through this device, the individual neutrons begin to twist in a corkscrew pattern. A special neutron camera recorded the image after the neutron had traveled 19 meters of her. The group noticed that all neutrons had grown into donut-shaped trails 10 cm wide.

The donut shape of the propagated neutrons indicates that the neutrons were placed in a special helical state and that the group grating device produced a neutron beam with quantized orbital angular momentum. This is the first experimental result of its kind.

Dr. Dmitry Pushin, IQC and Faculty of Physics and Astronomy at Waterloo, Said, “Neutrons are popular for experimental verification of fundamental physics, with their three easily accessible degrees of freedom (spin, path and energy). It enabled the use of angular momentum and provided an additional quantized degree of freedom to characterize and study the complex materials needed for next-generation quantum devices such as quantum simulators and quantum computers. We are developing a toolbox for

Journal reference:

  1. Dusan Sarenak, Melissa Henerson and others Experimental realization of neutron helical waves. scientific progressDoi: 10.1126/sciadv.add2002

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