Physicists use Newton’s cradle to understand the work of quantum systems

May 4, 2018 - By Edwin Martin

Physicists use Newton’s cradle to understand the work of quantum systems

Physicists use Newton’s cradle to understand the work of quantum systems

It is a popular toy with small metallic spheres swinging back and forth, pushing each other to the right or left. Meanwhile, scientists believe that it is more than a toy for office workers.

This toy teaches students about processes of energy and momentum conservation. And now, Newton’s cradle became a base for experiment made by Benjamin Lev, an associate professor at Stanford University and his team. Inspired by this toy, they created a theory on quantum systems.

Scientists from Stanford has created a quantum variant of Newton’s cradle. It answers the question of how chaotic movements of quantum particles can lead to a thermal equilibrium. The whole process is called thermalization.

According to Lev, their new model can help with making a quantum revolution in engineering. New study can help in the production of quantum computers and other devices.

He says that before we will be able to make something, we need to understand how quantum systems work, especially when they are moving, like spheres in this toy.

Researchers finally are able to understand how thermal equilibrium appears from small and usually chaotic motion.

Their study was published in Physical Review X on the 2nd of May, 2018.

The new theory does not go well with all the previous researching. Scientists can finally understand how quantum systems can provide evolution after just a small touch of chaos. The toy helped to understand moving processes.

They build their own version of Newton’s cradle, and it has laser beams and cool gas. Laser kicks gas of atoms and brings it to the coldest known state.

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