Scientists couple magnetization to superconductivity for quantum discoveries

phys.org | 8/22/2019 | Staff
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Quantum computing promises to revolutionize the ways in which scientists can process and manipulate information. The physical and material underpinnings for quantum technologies are still being explored, and researchers continue to look for new ways in which information can be manipulated and exchanged at the quantum level.

In a recent study, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a miniaturized chip-based superconducting circuit that couples quantum waves of magnetic spins called magnons to photons of equivalent energy. Through the development of this "on chip" approach that marries magnetism and superconductivity for manipulation of quantum information, this fundamental discovery could help to lay the foundation for future advancements in quantum computing.

Magnons - Systems - Excitations - Material - Oscillation

Magnons emerge in magnetically ordered systems as excitations within a magnetic material that cause an oscillation of the magnetization directions at each atom in the material—a phenomenon called a spin wave. "You can think of it like having an array of compass needles that are all magnetically linked together," said Argonne materials scientist Valentine Novosad, an author of the study. "If you kick one in a particular direction, it will cause a wave that propagates through the rest."

Just as photons of light can be thought of as both waves and particles, so too can magnons. "The electromagnetic wave represented by a photon is equivalent to the spin wave represented by a magnon—the two are analogues of each other," said Argonne postdoctoral researcher Yi Li, another author of the study.

Photons - Magnons - Share - Relationship - Field

Because photons and magnons share such a close relationship to each other, and both contain a magnetic field component, the Argonne scientists sought a way to couple the two together. The magnons and photons "talk" to each other through a superconducting microwave cavity, which...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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