Trapping the Tiniest Sound
The physics of sound just took a quantum leap forward.
Phonons are the smallest unit of the vibrational energy that makes up sound waves. Like their light counter-parts (photons), phonon are not matter exactly but are considered particles in a sense.
Photons are currently used to store information in quantum computers. However, until recently, the mere identification of a phonon destroyed it.
In a new collaborative study between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Boulder, researchers have been able to capture the electrical field response of phonons. In comparison to light, sound travels much slower and researchers may be able to use that to their advantage eventually. The future of using phonons in quantum computing is still largely unknown, but to learn more about it check out the link below.
Sloman L. (2019) Trapping the Tiniest Sound. Scientific American. August 30.