A child on a swing can keep the swing in motion by repeatedly standing up and squatting down. This movement changes the frequency of the swings and amplifies them. This simple concept—known as parametric amplification—finds use also in modern quantum physics.
Academic conferences are usually exhausting. You spend the whole day (or, more often, several days) closed in a lecture room, often without direct sunlight or fresh air, and try to absorb as much information as you can from (sometimes poorly prepared) talks of your fellow researchers. At some events, speakers change as often as every 15… Continue reading Benefits and challenges of tweeting a conference
If you find quantum physics hard to understand (or accept), rest assured that you are not alone. Even many physicists (including Albert Einstein, one of its founding fathers) refused to acknowledge that our world can behave so strangely. That atoms or electrons can be at two places at once or that it does not always… Continue reading Is the Moon in the sky when you’re not looking?
As scientists, we are in a very privileged position compared to the rest of population. Not only do we really enjoy what we do but we also get to choose what to work on ourselves. Sure, there is the dark world of academic bureaucracy and the perpetual fight for grant money but I still think that… Continue reading Good scientists publish, shitty ones blog. Or do they?
It is a well-known fact in quantum physics that the position and momentum of an object (e.g., a single atom or a vibrating mirror) cannot be known with an arbitrary precision. The more we know about the position of a mirror, the less we know about how fast it is moving and vice versa. This… Continue reading How well can we measure position?
One hundred years after Albert Einstein shared it with the world, the general relativity is waiting for its last confirmation: direct observation of gravitational waves. These ripples in the curvature of spacetime are created when a massive object accelerates. Typical examples of such systems are binary neutron stars or black holes; as the two stars (or… Continue reading Seeing ripples in spacetime
Entanglement is a peculiar feature of quantum systems that makes them behave as if they were sitting directly next to each other even if they are kilometres away. Such behaviour does not occur in classical physics. Classical particles can affect each other through fields -- such as the gravitational or electromagnetic field -- but these fields propagate with… Continue reading Connecting superconducting quantum computers with light
One of the things I love about physics is how it changes the way one sees the world. As one starts to think about some basic things very differently. Then even such a simple act as measurement is a complicated process which can even be used to manipulate physical systems.
I am at the point in my PhD where I am truly becoming a researcher and am no longer just a student. How can I tell? I just finished a project I worked on basically since I started my studies more than two years ago. It was my supervisor's idea to study this particular problem,… Continue reading A new start
claimtoken-552906769c445 I already talked about using measurements and feedback in quantum physics and how these tools can be used to prepare interesting quantum states. But it is not an easy task -- experimental realisations require ultrafast electronics to apply feedback in real time. And theoretical analyses? Those are not easy either. Take a simple example -- an… Continue reading Simplifying quantum systems