Quantum Physics


Electron Still Seems Round

Authors: George Rajna

JILA physicists have for the first time used their spinning molecules technique to measure the "roundness" of the electron, confirming the leading results from another group and suggesting that more precise assessments are possible. [18] The same thing happens in quantum systems, but this state can be changed, and the flow of energy and particles can be reversed if a quantum observer is inserted into the system. [17] Researchers from the Theory Department of the MPSD have realized the control of thermal and electrical currents in nanoscale devices by means of quantum local observations. [16] Physicists have proposed a new type of Maxwell's demon—the hypothetical agent that extracts work from a system by decreasing the system's entropy—in which the demon can extract work just by making a measurement, by taking advantage of quantum fluctuations and quantum superposition. [15] Pioneering research offers a fascinating view into the inner workings of the mind of 'Maxwell's Demon', a famous thought experiment in physics. [14] For more than a century and a half of physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that entropy always increases, has been as close to inviolable as any law we know. In this universe, chaos reigns supreme. [13] Physicists have shown that the three main types of engines (four-stroke, two-stroke, and continuous) are thermodynamically equivalent in a certain quantum regime, but not at the classical level. [12] For the first time, physicists have performed an experiment confirming that thermodynamic processes are irreversible in a quantum system—meaning that, even on the quantum level, you can't put a broken egg back into its shell. The results have implications for understanding thermodynamics in quantum systems and, in turn, designing quantum computers and other quantum information technologies. [11] Disorder, or entropy, in a microscopic quantum system has been measured by an international group of physicists. The team hopes that the feat will shed light on the "arrow of time": the observation that time always marches towards the future.

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[v1] 2017-10-10 13:27:10

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