Quantum Mathematical Physics: Atoms, Molecules and Large Systems


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Quantum interference of large organic molecules

Various factors contribute to the remaining small discrepancies. The interference visibility is highly sensitive to apparatus vibrations, variations in the grating period on the level of 0. Although matter wave interference of BECs relies on the de Broglie wavelength of the individual atoms, our massive molecules always appear as single entities.

In our experiment, the superposition consists of having all atoms simultaneously 'in the left arm' and 'in the right arm' of our interferometer, that is, two possibilities that are macroscopically distinct.

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The path separation is about two orders of magnitude larger than the size of the molecules. Such a mechanism is not needed to create the molecular superposition state in our experiment. Entanglement between a molecule and a microscopic probe particle does, however, occur in decoherence processes in which the quantum interaction with the environment reveals which-path information 14 , 15 and destroys the interference pattern.

Collisions with residual gas molecules 31 , the emission of heat radiation 32 and the absorption of blackbody radiation are among the most important decoherence mechanisms for interferometry with massive particles. In conclusion, our experiments reveal the quantum wave nature of tailor-made organic molecules in an unprecedented mass and size domain. They open a new window for quantum experiments with nanoparticles in a complexity class comparable to that of small proteins, and they demonstrate that it is feasible to create and maintain high quantum coherence with initially thermal systems consisting of more than 1, internal degrees of freedom.

Quantum interference of large organic molecules | Nature Communications

The porphyrin derivatives were synthesized by the attachment of a highly fluorous thiol to meso-tetra pentafluorophenyl porphyrin in a nucleophilic aromatic substitution reaction by applying a modified literature procedure To assemble TPPF84, the commercially available 1 H ,1 H ,2 H ,2 H -perfluorododecanethiol as nucleophilic fluorous part was introduced to the porphyrin unit.

The branched thiol building block for TPPF was synthesized in three reaction steps. A reaction sequence including mono-functionalization of tris bromomethyl benzene with a protected thiol, introduction of two fluorous ponytails and a final deprotection of the thiol functionality yielded the desired fluorous thiol suitable for the envisaged substitution reaction. All target structures were purified by column chromatography and characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry Supplementory Methods. The functional dependence of the interference fringe visibility on the laser power is qualitatively similar in both a classical and a full quantum treatment.

As observed from the treatment described in ref. The experimental data are in clear agreement with the quantum model. The diffracting laser beam is generated by a Coherent Verdi V18 laser at nm.


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How to cite this article: Gerlich, S. Quantum interference of large organic molecules. Zeilinger, A. Single- and double-slit diffraction of neutrons. Carnal, O. Young's double-slit experiment with atoms: a simple atom interferometer. Zimmermann, B. Localization and loss of coherence in molecular double-slit experiments. King, B. A matterless double slit. Photonics 4 , 92—94 Hasselbach, F. Progress in electron- and ion-interferometry. Rauch, H. Adams, C. Atom optics. Keith, D. Diffraction of atoms by a transmission grating. Cronin, A. Optics and interferometry with atoms and molecules. Arndt, M.

Wave-particle duality of C60 molecules. Nature , — Wave nature of biomolecules and fluorofullerenes. Diffraction of neutral helium clusters: evidence for 'magic numbers'. Ladd, T. Quantum computers. Nature , 45—53 Zurek, W. Decoherence, einselection, and the quantum origins of the classical.


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  • Joos, E. Ohmori, K. Wave-packet and coherent control dynamics. Fagan, P. Production of perfluoroalkylated nanospheres from buckminsterfullerene. Science , — Deachapunya, S. Slow beams of massive molecules. Kroto, H. C Buckminsterfullerene. Clauser, J. Brezger, B. Concepts for near-field interferometers with large molecules. B 5 , S82—S89 Gerlich, S. A Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau interferometer for highly polarizable molecules. Nature Physics 3 , — Hornberger, K. Theory and experimental verification of Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau interferometry.

    New J. Frisch, M. Gaussian 09, Revision A. Gaussian, Inc. Quantum interference distinguishes between constitutional isomers. Bradley, C. Evidence of Bose-Einstein condensation in an atomic gas with attractive interactions. Naturwissenschaften 23 , — Brune, M. Observing the progressive decoherence of the 'meter' in a quantum measurement. Leibfried, D.

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    Monz, T. Coherence of large-scale entanglement. Collisional decoherence observed in matter wave interferometry. Decoherence of matter waves by thermal emission of radiation. Samaroo, D. Meso-tetra pentafluorophenyl -porphyrin as an efficient platform for combinatorial synthesis and the selection of new photodynamic therapeutics using a cancer cell line. Download references.

    We thank Anton Zeilinger for his role as an initiator of the 'foundations of quantum physics' research programme in Vienna. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. If one knows the corresponding wave function at the instant before the measurement, one will be able to compute the probability of the wave function collapsing into each of the possible eigenstates.

    For example, the free particle in the previous example will usually have a wave function that is a wave packet centered around some mean position x 0 neither an eigenstate of position nor of momentum. When one measures the position of the particle, it is impossible to predict with certainty the result. After the measurement is performed, having obtained some result x , the wave function collapses into a position eigenstate centered at x. During a measurement , on the other hand, the change of the initial wave function into another, later wave function is not deterministic, it is unpredictable i.

    A time-evolution simulation can be seen here. Wave functions change as time progresses.

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    However, the wave packet will also spread out as time progresses, which means that the position becomes more uncertain with time. This also has the effect of turning a position eigenstate which can be thought of as an infinitely sharp wave packet into a broadened wave packet that no longer represents a definite, certain position eigenstate. Many systems that are treated dynamically in classical mechanics are described by such "static" wave functions. For example, a single electron in an unexcited atom is pictured classically as a particle moving in a circular trajectory around the atomic nucleus , whereas in quantum mechanics, it is described by a static, spherically symmetric wave function surrounding the nucleus Fig.

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