How does a single atom sound?


How does a single atom sound? We don’t know (yet), but Researchers at Columbia University and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology managed to capture a single phonon, the sound an atom makes when is excited.

Phonons might actually be interesting in the field of quantum computing, because they move much slower than photons and, therefore, are easier to manipulate.

In comparison to photons, phonons have several striking features. Their speed of propagation is around 10^5 times lower, and their wavelength at a given frequency correspondingly shorter,” the researchers wrote in Science. “The slow speed means that qubits can be tuned much faster [than photons] … this enables new dynamic schemes for trapping and processing quanta.

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