Every day we are surrounded by hundreds of different sounds. Have you ever wondered about the structure of the sound? From school physics course we know about sound waves, but because everything in our Universe consists of elementary particles. And the sound wave is no exception. In order to thoroughly examine what is sound in physics from Stanford University have created a very sensitive microphone. It can be called to some extent “quantum microphone”, because it can catch the vibrations of elementary sound particles called phonons.
What is the phonon
In 1907 Albert Einstein suggested the possibility of existence of phonons. A particle representing an accumulation of vibrational energy. Phonons are emitted by excited atoms and appear in the form of sounds of different frequencies. Each phonon concluded a certain amount of vibrational energy. The unit of energy is denoted by the term Fock. If the sound wave is recorded 1 Fock, it means it contains 1 photon. If 2 Fock — 2 phonon and so on. It is on the principle of measurement of Fock and relies on the “quantum microphone”.
What is a “quantum microphone” is and how it works
Quantum microphone is a chilled down to very low temperature the resonator. But to the naked eye you see it can’t, because it is so small that it can be seen only under an electronic microscope with high magnification. The resonator is connected to the circuit, inside which circulate a pair of bound electrons. Deviation in the movement of these pairs of electrons occurs as a result of exposure to phonons. This impact and catches the resonator, registers and transfers to the system for analysis.
Why you need a “quantum microphone”
First, the device needed to more closely examine the nature of sound waves, and also to understand the process of formation of phonons. Moreover, the “quantum microphone” when you change the mode of operation is able to produce a single phonons. That is, it is possible to literally use as a generator of elementary particles (in this case only particles of sound) and, in contrast to the same of the Large hadron Collider, it does not need to conduct particle collision at high speeds. Everything happens due to the generation of slight vibration at the atomic level.
This will create microscopic devices that can save and replay the quantum information encoded in the parameters of elementary particles of sound (phonons). In addition, such systems can act as transducers of mechanical signals into optical and Vice versa, which can be used when creating quantum computers and other elements of high-tech gadgets in the future.