Computer Sciences

Supercomputer probes the limits of Google's quantum processor

CPQM's Laboratory for Quantum Information Processing has collaborated with the CDISE supercomputing team "Zhores" to emulate Google's quantum processor. Reproducing noiseless data following the same statistics as Google's ...


Compact amplifier could revolutionise optical communication

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a unique optical amplifier that is expected to revolutionize both space and fiber communication. The new amplifier offers high performance, is compact enough ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Helping semiconductors find a cooler way to relax

Bandgap engineering can improve the performance of optoelectronic devices that aim to harness the energy of "hot" electrons, research from KAUST shows.

Computer Sciences

Chip with secure encryption will help in fight against hackers

A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has designed and commissioned the production of a computer chip that implements post-quantum cryptography very efficiently. Such chips could provide protection against future ...

Computer Sciences

Machine learning tool sorts the nuances of quantum data

An interdisciplinary team of Cornell and Harvard University researchers developed a machine learning tool to parse quantum matter and make crucial distinctions in the data, an approach that will help scientists unravel the ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

AI may soon predict how electronics fail

Think of them as master Lego builders, only at an atomic scale. Engineers at CU Boulder have taken a major step forward in combing advanced computer simulations with artificial intelligence to try to predict how electronics, ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Light meets superconducting circuits

In the last few years, several technology companies including Google, Microsoft, and IBM, have massively invested in quantum computing systems based on microwave superconducting circuit platforms in an effort to scale them ...

Machine learning & AI

Sketching a shape based on its sound

In his dissertation, mathematician Abel Stern managed to reconstruct the shape of a drum on a computer from hearing merely the lowest tones. He will obtain his Ph.D. from Radboud University on 30 March.

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In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is an indivisible entity of a quantity that has the same units as the Planck constant and is related to both energy and momentum of elementary particles of matter (called fermions) and of photons and other bosons. The word comes from the Latin "quantus", for "how much." Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized", referred to as "quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete numerical values, rather than any value, at least within a range. There is a related term of quantum number.

A photon is often referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom (at rest) is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. But these terms can be a little misleading, because what is quantized is this Planck's constant quantity whose units can be viewed as either energy multiplied by time or momentum multiplied by distance.

Usually referred to as quantum "mechanics", it is regarded by virtually every professional physicist as the most fundamental framework we have for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level, for the very practical reason that it works. It is "in the nature of things", not a more or less arbitrary human preference.

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