We know that the rule “nothing lasts forever” holds true for everything. But the world of quantum particles doesn’t always seem to follow the rules.
In the latest findings, scientists have observed that quasiparticles in quantum systems could be virtually immortal. These particles can regenerate themselves after they have decayed — and this can have a significant impact on the future of quantum computing and humanity itself.
What’s the big deal?
This finding stands up directly against the second law of thermodynamics which basically says that things can only break down and not reconstruct again. However, these quantum particle fields can reconstruct themselves after decaying – just like the Phoenix rises from its ashes in Greek mythology.
We know that quantum physics doesn’t really follow “rules” but even quantum scientists were unaware of how weird these quasiparticles can get.
Infinite decay and rebirth of quasiparticles
So far it has been assumed that quasiparticles in interacting quantum systems decay after a certain period. But now it seems that even the opposite is true: strong interactions can stop the decay entirely.
Ruben Verresen, the lead author on the research says that quasiparticles do decay, but new identical particles emerge from the debris.
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“If this decay proceeds very quickly, an inverse reaction will occur after a certain time and the debris will converge again. This process can recur endlessly and a sustained oscillation between decay and rebirth emerges.”
So, technically, in this case, immortality is achieved by a pattern of re-emergence rather than rebirth.
Impact of quasiparticles’ immortality
For those who are unaware, quasiparticles aren’t exactly particles like electrons or quarks. They are actually the disturbances or excitations in a solid that can be caused by electrical or magnetic forces. But collectively, they behave like particles.
So, combining this fact with the latest findings has helped scientists in solving a couple of other puzzles. For instance, a magnetic compound Ba3CoSb2O9 that is used in experiments was previously found to be unexpectedly stable.
But now the answer behind such behavior can be the magnetic quasiparticles it contains, also known as magnons — and they rearrange themselves after decay leading to its stability over time.
Another interesting example is helium which becomes a resistance-free superfluid at absolute zero temperature. Now, this weird behavior can also be explained by the fact this gas contains called quasiparticles called rotons.
For now, this concept has been established theoretically, but the researchers think that “quasiparticle immortality” can hold the key to long-lasting data storage in quantum computing systems.