(Phys.org.news) Scientists with the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have built a mechanical system—a tiny “echo chamber” for sound waves—that can be controlled at the quantum level, by connecting it to quantum circuits. The breakthrough could extend the reach of quantum technology to new quantum sensors, communication and memory. It’s a major challenge getting delicate quantum systems to play well with mechanical ones—anything with moving parts—which underlie a great deal of existing technology.
“Getting these two technologies to talk to one another is a key first step for all kinds of quantum applications,” said lead study author Andrew Cleland, the John A. MacLean Sr. Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise and a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. “With this approach, we’ve achieved quantum control over a mechanical system at a level well beyond what’s been done before.”