Ever happened that you are listening to the radio and the signal goes off? The missed signals that the system somehow manages to catch delivers us something gibberish. Normal radio frequency if lost does not cause damage. But there are instances and situations where the loss of signal can cause serious damage and serious issue. To overcome these researchers have come up with quantum radio.
What is a quantum radio?
Researchers have created a quantum circuit that can listen to the weakest radio signal allowed by quantum mechanics. Researchers in the group of Prof. Gary Steele in Delft demonstrated this detection of photons. This new invention has opened new ways to the research of future applications like radio astronomy, and medicine.
Energy comes as packets and not continuous!!
A weird idea of quantum mechanics states that energy does not transmit as a continuous flow but comes in packets. These packets are termed as ‘quanta’.
To explain the concept more clearly Marcus Gely, the lead researchers on the project said “say I am pushing a kid on a swing, In the classical theory of physics, if I want the kid to go a bit faster I can give him a small push, giving them more speed and more energy. Quantum mechanics says something different: I can only increase the kid’s energy one ‘quantum step’ at a time. Pushing by half of that amount is not possible.”
Until recently, this was also the case with radio waves. But now the researcher’s team in Delft developed a circuit that can actually detect these clusters of energy in the radio frequency signals. This has opened up ways to sense radio ways at the quantum level.
Upgrading to the next level: Mass!!
The group of researchers in Delft is not thinking of taking quantum mechanics to the next level. The next level of research is about mass. It has been centuries since people studied the science of quantum mechanics. But still, until now, there has been no successful experiment in fitting gravity into quantum mechanics. The researchers are planning to try this.
The researchers stated, ”using our quantum radio, we want to try to listen to and control the quantum vibrations of heavy objects, and explore experimentally what happens when you mix quantum mechanics and gravity. Such experiments are hard, but if successful we would be able to test if we can make a quantum superposition of space-time itself, a new concept that would test our understanding of both quantum mechanics and general relativity.”
Quantum mechanics is the field of science in which no matter how much study the researchers do it seems less. With every discovery and every invention, the world is moving a step closer to the secrets of the universe. Though this is just a step it will definitely help others do wonder.