Newly observed Higgs mode shows promise in quantum computing

The very first appearance of a previously undetectable quantum excitation known as the axial Higgs mode – exciting in itself – also holds promise for the development and manipulation of higher temperature quantum materials for quantum computing and life sciences. quantum information in general.

“Unlike the regular Higgs mode, which is produced by a Higgs mechanism that provides mass to fundamental particles in the Standard Model of particle physics, the axial Higgs mode is visible at room temperature. This feature enables more efficient and cost-effective experiments for manipulating quantum materials for various applications – including next-generation memory storage and optoelectronic devices – that would otherwise require extremely cold temperatures,” according to a paper written by Elizabeth Rosenthal and published today on the Quantum Science Center website.

The axial Higgs mode manifests as low-energy excitation in rare-earth tellurides, a class of quantum materials notable for exhibiting charge density wave, or CDW, interactions. This behavior refers to arrangements of interacting electrons in quantum materials that form specific patterns and correlations.

Researchers have recently confirmed the presence of the axial Higgs mode, a particulate excitation represented here by a golden sphere. They used Raman spectroscopy, in which an incoming electric field, shown in blue, was coupled to the particle and then scattered at a different frequency, shown in red. Credit: Ioannis Petrides and Prineha Narang/Harvard University

The team responsible for the findings, which are published in Nature, was led by researchers from Boston College and includes scientists from Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Yale University, the University of Washington and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“This result is almost elegant in its simplicity – it’s really rare to find a new particle with a super clean signature without much fanfare,” said Prineha Narang, quoted in the paper. Narang is an Assistant Professor at Harvard and a Principal Investigator at QSC, a U.S. Department of Energy National Quantum Information Science Research Center headquartered at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

To measure the axial Higgs mode, the researchers used Raman spectroscopy – a nearly 100-year-old technique designed to characterize the structure and properties of complex materials – to observe pathway interference, demonstrating the power of mechanics quantum to control matter. They found this interference of quantum pathways in several rare-earth CDW systems, and this phenomenon persisted down to room temperature and was insensitive to mixing of the axial Higgs mode with nearby phonons or vibrations in the material.

The most notable quantum activity appears only at very low temperatures, requiring dilution refrigerators that depend on a limited supply of liquid helium. Otherwise, the physics of quantum materials tends to be completely invisible or obscured by noise, which can cause certain properties to appear and disappear so quickly that they cannot be confirmed or properly studied. Although the team cooled their CDW samples, they found that the signature, or wavelength produced by the spectroscopy measurements, remained just as clean once the materials were warmed to room temperature.

The researchers predict that the axial Higgs mode likely exists elsewhere, including in superconductors and magnetic materials, which would allow experimenters to study and optimize quantum systems without relying on extreme conditions or large-scale facilities. ladder.

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Sherry J. Basler