Memories. For ever (changing)…

Conventional memories used in today’s computers only differentiate between the bit values 0 and 1. In quantum physics, however, arbitrary superpositions of these two states are possible. Most of the ideas for new quantum technology devices rely on this “Superposition Principle”. One of the main challenges in using such states is that they are usually short-lived. Only for a short period of time can information be read out of quantum memories reliably, after that it is irrecoverable.

A research team at TU Wien has now taken an important step forward in the development of new quantum storage concepts. In cooperation with the Japanese telecommunication giant NTT, the Viennese researchers lead by Johannes Majer are working on quantum memories based on nitrogen atoms and microwaves. The nitrogen atoms have slightly different properties, which quickly leads to the loss of the quantum state. By specifically changing a small portion of the atoms, one can bring the remaining atoms into a new quantum state, with a lifetime enhancement of more than a factor of ten. These results have been published in the journal “Nature Photonics”. (1)

The atoms are everywhere. Changing all the time. But we want them to be somewhere. In order to control them. In order to keep information there.

Because we want to create memories.

In an ever changing world, we want to find stability. Even though everything changes all the time, we want them to follow stable rules, patterns, certain paths. Inside everything, we need something. We seek constancy in an ever turbulent cosmos.

Because we need to be able to remember. To know.

And the weird thing is that we do know. Even though it seems we cannot find stability, we somehow find it. Because we do remember. Because we Are. Something we do not fully grasp now. And yet, we feel it. The world is not what it seems to be. The world can stop moving. The world can stop changing. The world can come to a halt.

As long as we decide it.

As long as we stop trying.

As long as we accept it is already stable…

See the stars moving.

They are not.

Yes, now I remember!

Quantum computers. Environment. Memories. Stability. (through change)

Before the dream of quantum computing is realized, a number of inherent problems must first be solved. One of these is the ability to maintain a stable memory system that overcomes the intrinsic instability of the basic unit of information in quantum computing – the quantum bit or “qubit”. To address this problem, Physicists working at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) claim to have created breakthrough circuitry that continuously self-checks for inaccuracies to consistently maintain the error-free status of the quantum memory.

Vulnerability to environmentally-induced error – such as cosmic ray events or simply an unknown collapse of quantum coherence, for example – means that the information contained in a qubit is easily lost. And because of the nature of of quantum entanglement required to encode the qubit in the first place, any attempt to replicate the information will also immediately destabilize it. (1)

The environment changes constantly. And yet we believe that memory is based on a stable environment we are certain it exists. We try to be Gods in the cosmos. By altering the nature of the cosmos. We are afraid of change and yet change is what keeps everything unaltered. Everything possible. Everything different. Where else can that be possible, if not in an ever stable cosmos? Try to make things stop changing and you will put the universe in motion.

Stop and look around.

The world is spinning.

Try to stop it.

And everything will fall apart…

Stable universe. Unstable thoughts…

According to legend, when Damocles declared that his king, Dionysius, must have a posh and easy life, Dionysius offered to trade places with Damocles. There was only one catch. Dionysius decreed that a sword be suspended over the throne by a single horse hair, so that Damocles would always know the peril of being king. Since then the Sword of Damocles has come to represent a threat of doom that could strike without warning.

Let’s now go to quantum systems. A long-known property of quantum mechanics, that quantum systems don’t always have to settle in their most stable configuration. They can instead find themselves in a locally stable state (known as a metastable state).

Could we live in a universe which is stable, but just LOCALLY stable? scientists wonder (1)

But why should we care?

Is there ANYTHING which is eternally “stable”?


What does that even mean?!?

Everything changes.
And this is the best proof that nothing changes at all…

Stop worrying.

You are here.
And you will be here for ever.
Ever changing.
And yet always the same…

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