Friday, August 23, 2019

FutureWatch: Eavesdropping on REALLY Tiny Sounds

Researchers have developed a microphone so sensitive it’s capable of picking up individual particles of sound.

OK, we knew light has particles, and gravity has particles. Now even sound has particles? Well, not quite. A phonon is what’s called a quasiparticle — basically, an emergent phenomenon that occurs when a microscopically complicated system behaves as if it were a particle...

 The quantum microphone consists of a series of supercooled nanomechanical resonators, so small that they are visible only through an electron microscope.

The resonators are connected to a superconducting circuit which contains electron pairs that move around without resistance. The circuit forms a qubit — a system that can exist in two states at once and has a natural frequency, which can be read electronically. more