Summary #680

Stanford physicists count sound particles with quantum microphone
  • Using supercooled nanomechanical resonators coupled with a superconducting circuit, scientists detect and measure phonons for the first time.
  • Phonons are packets of vibrational energy emitted by jittery atoms, manifested as sound or heat depending on frequency.
  • The energy of one phonon is ten trillion trillion times smaller than required to power a lightbulb for one second.
  • Achieving precision in phonon generation and detection could lead to new types of quantum technology able to, for example, encode data into particles of sound.
  • Phonons are thousands of times smaller than photons, which are currently used in quantum computers - this could help make them smaller and more efficient.


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