A team of researchers from MIT and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have successfully coaxed a single quantum vibration from a diamond at room temperature.
This breakthrough represents yet another giant chip in the veneer separating the classical universe we see from the quantum one beneath.
Under normal circumstances, in order to observe quantum phenomena, scientists have to work with ultra-cold materials specially designed to produce experimental effects for the purpose of observation.
But the new experiment involved firing lasers at a diamond in order to produce ‘proof’ of the creation of a unit of quantum energy called a phonon.
A phonon is a sound unit analogous to a photon – a single particle of light.
Phonons are created when an object produces mechanical vibrations.