Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder

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sciborg2

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« on: March 22, 2019, 03:06:53 pm »
Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder

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Freer Law

Given enough time, even a tidy room will get messy. Clothes, books and papers will leave their ordered state and scatter across the floor. Annoyingly, this tendency toward untidiness reflects a law of nature: Disorder tends to grow.

If, for example, you cut open a pressurized scuba tank, the air molecules inside will spew out and spread throughout the room. Place an ice cube in hot water and the water molecules frozen in the ordered, crystalline lattice will break their bonds and disperse. In mixing and spreading, a system strives toward equilibrium with its environment, a process called thermalization.

It’s common and intuitive, and precisely what a team of physicists expected to see when they lined up 51 rubidium atoms in a row, holding them in place with lasers. The atoms started in an orderly pattern, alternating between the lowest-energy “ground” state and an excited energy state. The researchers assumed the system would quickly thermalize: The pattern of ground and excited states would settle almost immediately into a jumbled sequence.

And at first, the pattern did jumble. But then, shockingly, it reverted to the original alternating sequence. After some more mixing, it returned yet again to that initial configuration. Back and forth it went, oscillating a few times in under a microsecond — long after it should have thermalized.

It was as if you dropped an ice cube in hot water and it didn’t just melt away, said Mikhail Lukin, a physicist at Harvard University and a leader of the group. “What you see is the ice melts and crystallizes, melts and crystallizes,” he said. “It’s something really unusual.”

Physicists have dubbed this bizarre behavior “quantum many-body scarring.” As if scarred, the atoms seem to bear an imprint of the past that draws them back to their original configuration over and over again....
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sciborg2

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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 03:19:10 pm »
I think the overcoming of something we'd assign near zero probability is pretty cool, they get into that later in the article.

Gets into the difference between assigning random variables and actually knowing what's going on w/ causation "behind the scenes" of our mathematical designations.
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https://docs.google.com/document/d/12NfnxYU5ZSur-RahRNI-bNMnTjxE12vyGWmY46Xq2h0/edit

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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 10:17:19 pm »
I think the overcoming of something we'd assign near zero probability is pretty cool, they get into that later in the article.

Gets into the difference between assigning random variables and actually knowing what's going on w/ causation "behind the scenes" of our mathematical designations.
Yeah I liked this one too. Just shows there's still lot of interesting/useful things to discover at small scales.