Friday, September 21, 2018

New Uncertainy Relation Discovered For Temperature at the Quantum Scale

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


 According to a new study released by the University of Exeter, a new uncertainty relation linking the precision at which temperatures can be measured has been discovered.
  Uncertainty states are most famously known by the thought experiment called Schrödinger's Cat. The idea concerns a cat in a box that, according to quantum mechanics, could be both dead and alive at the same time.
 By developing a new theoretical framework, the team was able to characterize small-scale thermometers and establish an achievable accuracy. Under certain circumstances, it was found that the uncertainty in temperature readings were prone to additional fluctuations, arising because of quantum effects.
 These tiny thermometers could be in a superposition between different temperatures, such as 90.5°C and 89.5°C , similarly to how Schrödinger's cat could be in a superposition between dead and alive.
  Harry Miller, first author of the paper and from Exeter's Physics and Astronomy department explained: "In addition to thermal noise that is present when making a temperature measurement, the possibility of being in a superposition means that quantum fluctuations influence of how we observe temperature at the nanoscale."

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