(EurekaAlert) Andrew Jordan, a professor of physics at Rochester, was recently awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the Templeton Foundation to research quantum measurement engines–engines that use the principles of quantum mechanics to run with 100 percent efficiency. The research, to be carried out with co-principal investigators in France and at Washington University St. Louis, could answer important questions about the laws of thermodynamics in quantum systems and contribute to technologies such as more efficient engines and quantum computers.
The researchers have previously described the concept of quantum measurement engines, but the theory has never been demonstrated experimentally.
Jordan and his team will also investigate another major area of research: how it might be possible to extract work from a system using entanglement as a fuel. In entanglement–one of the basic of concepts of quantum physics–the properties of one particle are interlinked with properties of another, even when the particles are separated by a large distance. Using entanglement as a fuel has the possibly revolutionary feature of creating a non-local engine; half of an engine could be in New York, while the other half could be in California. The energy would not be held by either half of the system, yet the two parts could still share energy to fuel both halves proficiently.