To scientists seeking a basis for future quantum information processing, there is no more urgent or vexing problem than delaying the onset of “decoherence” – the collapse of delicate, but essential, quantum states.
Using a system that can compare the travel times of two photons with sub-femtosecond precision, scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (a partnership of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland) and Georgetown University have found a remarkably large difference in the time it takes photons to pass through nearly identical stacks of materials with different arrangements of refractive layers.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland have developed a new optical method that can detect individual neutrons and record them over a range of intensities at least a hundred times greater than existing detectors.
Ultracold atoms moving through a carefully designed arrangement of laser beams will jiggle slightly as they go, two NIST scientists have predicted. If observed, this never-before-seen “jitterbug” motion would shed light on a little-known oddity of quantum mechanics arising from Paul Dirac’s 80-year-old theory of the electron.
Using laser light to stir an ultracold gas of atoms, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Joint Quantum Institute (NIST/University of Maryland) have demonstrated the first “persistent” current in an ultracold atomic gas —a frictionless flow of particles.