Time Reversal Photonics Experiment Resolves Quantum Paradox

Photonics Experiment Resolves Quantum Paradox

A team of researchers from the University of Twente has successfully illustrated that quantum mechanics and thermodynamics can coexist by using an optical chip with photon channels. The channels individually showed disorder in line with thermodynamics, while the overall system complied with quantum mechanics due to the entanglement of subsystems, proving that information can be preserved and transferred. Credit: University of Twente

It seems quantum mechanics and thermodynamics cannot be true simultaneously. In a new publication, University of Twente researchers use photons in an optical chip to demonstrate how both theories can be true at the same time.

In quantum mechanics, time can be reversed and information is always preserved. That is, one can always find back the previous state of particles. It was long unknown how this could be true at the same time as thermodynamics. There, time has a direction and information can also be lost. “Just think of two photographs that you put in the sun for too long, after a while you can no longer distinguish them,” explains author Jelmer Renema.

There was already a theoretical solution to this quantum puzzle and even an experiment with atoms, but now the University of Twente (UT) researchers have also demonstrated it with photons. “Photons have the advantage that it is quite easy to reverse time with them,” explains Renema. In the experiment, the researchers used an optical chip with channels through which the photons could pass. At first, they could determine exactly how many photons there were in each channel, but after that, the photons shuffled positions.

Entanglement of subsystems

“When we looked at the individual channels, they obeyed the laws of thermodynamics and built up disorder. Based on measurements on one channel, we didn’t know how many photons were still in that channel, but the overall system was consistent with quantum mechanics,” says Renema. The various channels – also known as subsystems – were entangled. The missing information in one subsystem ‘disappears’ to the other subsystem.

More information

Dr. Jelmer Renema is assistant professor in the Adaptive Quantum Optics research group. He is also one of the featured scientists at the University of Twente. He did the research with a team, including the research group of Prof. Dr. Jens Eisert of the Freie Universität Berlin, who played an important role in demonstrating the reversibility of the experiment. They recently published their article entitled ‘Quantum simulation of thermodynamics in an integrated quantum photonic processor’ in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Reference: “Quantum simulation of thermodynamics in an integrated quantum photonic processor” by F. H. B. Somhorst, R. van der Meer, M. Correa Anguita, R. Schadow, H. J. Snijders, M. de Goede, B. Kassenberg, P. Venderbosch, C. Taballione, J. P. Epping, H. H. van den Vlekkert, J. Timmerhuis, J. F. F. Bulmer, J. Lugani, I. A. Walmsley, P. W. H. Pinkse, J. Eisert, N. Walk and J. J. Renema, 1 July 2023, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-38413-9

9 Comments on "Time Reversal Photonics Experiment Resolves Quantum Paradox"

  1. Why “Expand to show full article” ???

    • I don’t know! I hate that too. I assume SciTechDaily is doing it for a reason. I hope it’s working for them.

    • I think it’s to lower bot traffic, maybe? I cannot come up with a better answer?

      • It’s a JavaScript error – you’re supposed to be given just a short excerpt at first to determine if it’s worth expending that bandwidth in order to show it to you. Usually (but not always) ads don’t fully appear until you press such a button on a site. SciTechDaily’s website is not supposed to really show anything except the hero image and a few paragraphs, but due to a JavaScript incompatibility (at least on my system), you see an “Expand” button in the middle of the page and a gradient covering the entire viewport.

  2. Bao-hua ZHANG | July 9, 2023 at 6:00 pm | Reply

    According to the topological vortex gravitational field theory, the superposition of topological vortices not only impact the thermodynamic properties, but also impact kinetic processes of spacetime. When the vortex and antivortex are in Möbius strip state, the thermodynamic properties and kinetic processes will be converted orderly. There is no evidence to support that Quantum state and Quantum gravity must be independent of the interaction of topological vortex Gravitational field.
    good luck to you.

  3. Bao-hua ZHANG | July 10, 2023 at 2:36 am | Reply

    Perhaps one day will come, when humanity can truly understand and realize the immense power of symmetry. Good luck to you.

  4. Jesus. Can or can’t?

    The article seems to dispute itself over and over.

    Or is this some ironic joke?

  5. Azraekan of the Stars | July 12, 2023 at 7:24 am | Reply

    It seems to me like this is literally life’s SAVE GAME system, to ensure life never truly dies out.

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