Scientists at Aalto University, Finland, have made a breakthrough in physics. They succeeded in transporting heat maximally effectively ten thousand times further than ever before. The discovery may lead to a giant leap in the development of quantum computers.
Heat conduction is a fundamental physical phenomenon utilized, for example, in clothing, housing, car industry, and electronics. Thus our day-to-day life is inevitably affected by major shocks in this field. The research group, led by quantum physicist Mikko Möttönen has now made one of these groundbreaking discoveries. This new invention revolutionizes quantum-limited*heat*conduction which means as efficient heat transport as possible from point A to point B. This is great news especially for the developers of quantum computers.
Möttönen's innovation may be utilized in cooling quantum processors very efficiently and so cleverly that the operation of the computer is not disturbed.
In the QCD Labs in Finland, Möttönen's research group succeeded in measuring quantum-limited heat transport over distances up to a meter. A meter doesn't sound very long at first, but previously scientists have been able to measure such*heat transport*only up to distances comparable to the thickness of a human hair.
The key idea in their research was to use photons to transfer the heat. Photons are particles that, for example, form the visible light. Previously scientists have used, for example, electrons as the heat carriers.
"We know that photons can transport heat overlong distances. In fact, they bring the heat of the Sun to the Earth", Möttönen says.
The team came up with the idea to use a transmission line with no electrical resistance to transport the photons. This superconducting line was built on a silicon chip with the size of a square centimeter. Tiny resistors were placed at the ends of the transmission line. The research results were obtained by measuring induced changes in the temperatures of these resistors.