We Can Save Schroedinger's Cat !

and make some cool computers too

Yale researchers have figured out how to catch and save Schrödinger's famous cat, the symbol of quantum superposition and unpredictability, by anticipating its jumps and acting in real time to save it from proverbial doom.

The Yale team used a special approach to indirectly monitor a superconducting artificial atom, with three microwave generators irradiating the atom enclosed in a 3-D cavity made of aluminum. The doubly indirect monitoring method, developed by Minev for superconducting circuits, allows the researchers to observe the atom with unprecedented efficiency.

Microwave radiation stirs the artificial atom as it is simultaneously being observed, resulting in quantum jumps. The tiny quantum signal of these jumps can be amplified without loss to room temperature. Here, their signal can be monitored in real time. This enabled the researchers to see a sudden absence of detection photons (photons emitted by an ancillary state of the atom excited by the microwaves); this tiny absence is the advance warning of a quantum jump.

"The beautiful effect displayed by this experiment is the increase of coherence during the jump, despite its observation," said Devoret. Added Minev, "You can leverage this to not only catch the jump, but also reverse it."

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