(Phys.org) Recent findings at Penn State with bosons and fermions add to our fundamental understanding of quantum systems and could inform the eventual development of quantum devices.
Bosons and fermions, the two classes into which all particles—from the sub-atomic to atoms themselves—can be sorted, behave very differently under most circumstances. While identical bosons like to congregate, identical fermions tend to be antisocial. However, in one dimension—imagine particles that can only move on a line—bosons can become as stand-offish as fermions, so that no two occupy the same position. Now, new research shows that the same thing—bosons acting like fermions—can happen with their velocities.
“In the last half century many universal properties of equilibrium quantum systems have been elucidated,” said Weiss. “It has been harder to identify universal behavior in dynamical systems. By fully understanding the dynamics of one-dimensional gases, and then by gradually making the gases less integrable, we hope to identify universal principles in dynamical quantum systems.”
Dynamical, interacting quantum systems are an important part of fundamental physics. They are also increasing technologically relevant, as many actual and proposed quantum devices are based on them, including quantum simulators and quantum computers.