University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, September 21, 2018
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, GW-38

Dr. Peter D Drummond FAA, Centre for Quantum and Optical Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Testing quantum mechanics with modern technology

Wendell Furry [1] and Sydney Coleman [5] were two of Harvard's most original quantum theorists. What can modern quantum technology contribute to their work? Experimentally tested simulations of opto-mechanics[4] and atom interferometers [3], with thermal noise and losses, will be used to analyse proposals for testing Furry's nonlocal decoherence, and Coleman's QFT tunnelling to the true vacuum. Both these ideas are fundamental to our understanding of the quantum universe. Nonlocal decoherence was proposed in Furry’s response to Einstein’s EPR paper. Today, this idea is becoming testable for massive objects at low temperatures. Entanglement decoherence and massive Schrodinger cats are testable [4] through an optomechanical memory, simulated using the positive-P representation, thus combining technology at Yale and JILA. Coleman’s proposal of a false vacuum models fluctuations in the early universe, leading to large-scale structure in the microwave background. Coleman's ideas will be applied to construct a proposal for a laboratory model of the quantum fluctuations in the 'Big Bang', using a coupled BEC experiment in ultracold 41K, simulated with a Wigner phase-space representation [6].

[1] W. H. Furry, Phys. Rev. 49, 393 (1936).

[2] A. Einstein, B. Podolsky, and N. Rosen, Phys. Rev. 47, 777 (1935).

[3] M. Egorov et. al, Phys. Rev. A 84, 021605 (2011).

[4] S. Kiesewetter, R. Y. Teh, P. Drummond and M. Reid, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 023601 (2017).

[5] S. Coleman, Phys. Rev. D 15, 2929 (1977).

[6] O. Fialko et. al., J. Phys. B 50 024003 (2017).

Coffee and tea will be served prior to the talk, at 3:00 p.m., In Room GW-103


Prof. Robin Cote

Physics Department (primary)

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