The quantum revolution 量子革命

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The quantum revolution 量子革命

學習要點

有關 「experiments(實驗)」 的詞彙

邊看邊答

What can the ‘quantum random number generator’ be used for?

文字稿

So much modern technology already relies on light. But there’s still more potential locked away in these beams. In a lab in Cambridge, this team says it’s working on the next ‘light revolution’.

許多現代科技已經依賴於光。但光束裡還藏有更多的潛力。在英國劍橋的一間實驗室裡,這個團隊表示他們正在研究下一場 「光革命」。

Dr Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, Nu-Quantum
First, we had lamps, then we had lasers, which completely revolutionised our lives and our technology, and now we may be at the cusp of the third stage in the history of light. We have single photon sources ­– devices that can emit one particle of light at a time.

卡門‧帕拉西奧斯–貝拉凱羅博士       Nu-Quantum 公司
「一開始,人類發明了燈,後來發明了激光,這些事物徹底改變了我們的生活和技術,現在,我們可能就在光的第三個歷史階段的臨界點。關鍵就是單光子源,即可一次發射一個光粒子的裝置。」

And that is the key here – being able to separate off those individual light particles. I’ll explain why that’s important in a second, but first, here’s how they do it.

單光子源的關鍵就在於能夠分離出單個的光粒子。我馬上就會解釋這為什麼很重要,但先來看看研究人員是怎樣實現這個過程的。

Richard Westcott, BBC correspondent
On this disc here ­­– you can’t see it – is a crystal that is one atom thick, and it’s got little defects on it – the size of an atom. And when you fire a laser at those defects, they ping out individual photons – individual particles of light. And you can actually see them here – these bright yellow areas are the defects where the photons are coming out.

理查德‧韋斯科特       BBC通訊員
「雖然你看不到,但這張光碟上有一個薄如原子的晶體,晶體上有一些原子大小的小瑕疵。當你向這些瑕疵發射激光時,它們會發出單個光子,單個的光粒子。你其實可以在屏幕上看到它們,光子就是從這些亮黃色區域的瑕疵處發射出來的。」

This is where it gets weird. By singling out photons, you can unlock what’s known as the ‘quantum world’, where very, very small things behave very differently.

接下來,事情就變得不同尋常了。通過挑出單個光子,你可以打開所謂 「量子世界」 的大門,在那裡,極小的東西表現得與眾不同。

You’ll need to pay attention to this bit.

你得好好聽一聽這個部分。

Dr Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, Nu-Quantum
So there are two main properties that we can harness. The first one is ‘superposition’ and the second one is ‘entanglement’. ‘Superposition’ is a particle being in two states at the same time – so being up and down at the same time. ‘Entanglement’ – is two particles being inextricably linked. So, no matter where they are in the Universe ­– whatever happens to one affects the other one.

卡門‧帕拉西奧斯–貝拉凱羅博士       Nu-Quantum 公司
「我們可以利用兩個主要的特性。第一個是 『量子疊加態』,第二個是 『量子糾纏』。『量子疊加態』 指一個粒子同時處於兩種狀態,即同時處於上、下兩種量子態。『量子糾纏』 指兩個粒子密不可分地聯繫在了一起。所以,無論兩者在宇宙中的哪個位置,其中一個有所改變,那麼另一個也會受到影響。」

So, say one is up ­­­– the other one has to be down – or the other way around. When we put two… these two effects together, we can build something like a quantum computer – which is orders of magnitude more powerful than anything that we can compute today.

「比如,一個粒子處於上量子態,另一個必為下量子態,反之亦然。當我們把這兩種作用放在一起時,就可以建造一個類似量子計算機的東西,它比我們現在能計算的任何事物都強大幾個數量級。」

Carmen’s tech singles out the photons. You then need Matthew’s sensors to detect them. So what about practical uses?

卡門的技術把單個光子挑了出來。接下來,你需要用馬修的傳感器來檢測它們。這些技術的實際用途是什麼?

The quantum world is the only place you can generate a genuinely random number.

量子世界是唯一能產生真正的隨機數的地方。

So the team’s now building a ‘quantum random number generator’ to encrypt things securely online.

因此,該團隊正在構建一個 「量子隨機數生成器」,從而可以安全地在線加密。

Dr Matthew Applegate, Nu-Quantum
We are at the start of the quantum revolution, if you like ­– this is going to be like the Industrial Revolution we believe. What we’ve done is develop room-temperature components which are much simpler than the current state of the art – which will unlock the great potential of quantum technologies.

馬修‧阿普爾博士       Nu-Quantum 公司
「我們正處於量子革命的伊始,我們認為它會像工業革命一樣帶來巨大的影響。我們所做的是開發了比目前最新技術還要簡單得多的室溫組件,這將開啟量子技術的巨大潛力。」

From next level computing to better cameras – more accurate clocks, and a more secure internet ­– the surreal quantum world is hard to grasp, but the benefits are simple.

從更高級的計算機技術到更好的相機,再到更精確的時鐘和更安全的互聯網,雖然超現實般的量子世界讓人難以理解,但它的好處卻一目瞭然。

詞彙

cusp 尖點,分界點

defects 瑕疵,缺陷

harness 利用

inextricably 不可分割地

grasp 理解

問題答案

The ‘quantum random number generator’ can be used to make things more secure online.