法美兩學者榮獲 2012 諾貝爾物理獎 這兩位諾貝爾獎獲得者 「提出了突破性的實驗方法，使測量和操控個量子體系成為可能。」 瑞典皇家科學院諾貝爾獎評審委員會 9 日宣佈，法國科學家塞爾日．阿羅甚 (Serge Haroche) 與美國科學家大衛．維因蘭德 (David Wineland) 獲得 2012 年諾貝爾物理學獎。 (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP)---- 68 歲的阿羅甚和他在法國高等師範學校的同事讓‧ 米歇爾‧雷蒙， 2008 年在對一個密封光子的光粒子的觀察中，成功觀察到量子如何過渡 到傳統物態的過程。 在這一實驗中，他們使用內部全部裝有鏡子的裝置，能夠長時間保 留光子，並最小程度的干擾光子從而進行觀察的方法。 這一實驗方法，能夠觀察到在量子世界中非典型的光子過渡到傳統物理的完美狀態。他 們把這一發生在他們眼前的現象稱為「相乾性退化」。 和阿羅甚一樣，出生於 1944 年 大衛‧維因蘭德曾在量子光學領域，研究光與物質之間的基本相互作用。 兩位獲獎者將分享八百萬瑞典克朗約合 120 萬美元的獎金。 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground- breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems".2012 Nobel Prize in PhysicsSerge HarocheDavid J. Wineland Serge Haroche Collège de France and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France David J. Wineland National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA 相較其他獎項， 諾貝爾物理學 獎評審委員會 較傾向授與年 輕一輩的學者 這份榮耀。物 理學獎平均獲 獎年齡為 54 歲， 在諾貝爾 6 個獎 項中最年輕。 諾貝爾文學獎 獲獎平均年齡 相對成熟 10 歲。
Particle control in a quantum world Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland have independently invented and developed methods for measuring and manipulating individual particles while preserving their quantum-mechanical nature, in ways that were previously thought unattainable. The Nobel Laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direct observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them. For single particles of light or matter the laws of classical physics cease to apply and quantum physics takes over. But single particles are not easily isolated from their surrounding environment and they lose their mysterious quantum properties as soon as they interact with the outside world. Thus many seemingly bizarre phenomena predicted by quantum physics could not be directly observed, and researchers could only carry out thought experiments that might in principle manifest these bizarre phenomena. Through their ingenious laboratory methods Haroche and Wineland together with their research groups have managed to measure and control very fragile quantum states, which were previously thought inaccessible for direct observation. The new methods allow them to examine, control and count the particles. Their methods have many things in common. David Wineland traps electrically charged atoms, or ions, controlling and measuring them with light, or photons. Serge Haroche takes the opposite approach: he controls and measures trapped photons, or particles of light, by sending atoms through a trap. Both Laureates work in the field of quantum optics studying the fundamental interaction between light and matter, a field which has seen considerable progress since the mid-1980s. Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type of super fast computer based on quantum physics. Perhaps the quantum computer will change our everyday lives in this century in the same radical way as the classical computer did in the last century. The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time, with more than hundred-fold greater precision than present-day caesium clocks.
Figure 4. Schrödinger’s cat. In 1935 the Austrian physicist and Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger described a thought experiment with a cat in a box in order to illustrate the absurd consequences of moving between the micro-world of quantum physics and our every-day macro-world. A quantum system, particles, atoms and other stuff of the micro-world, can be in two states simultaneously, by physicists called a superposition of states. In Schrödinger’s thought experiment the cat in the box is in a superposition, and thus both dead and alive. Now, if you peek inside the box, you risk killing the cat because the quantum superposition is so sensitive to interaction with the environment that the slightest attempt to observe the cat would immediately ‘collapse’ the ‘cat-state’ to one of the two possible outcomes – dead or alive. Figure 1. Nobel Prize awarded for mastering particles. The Laureates have managed to make trapped, individual particles to behave according to the rules of quantum physics.