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UCSB physicists challenge classical world with quantum-mechanical implementation of 'shell game'
Date:1/31/2011

hat was inspired by an ancient mathematical puzzle developed in an Indian temple called the Towers of Hanoi, according to legend.

The Towers of Hanoi puzzle consists of three posts and a pile of disks of different diameter, which can slide onto any post. The puzzle starts with the disks in a stack in ascending order of size on one post, with the smallest disk at the top. The aim of the puzzle is to move the entire stack to another post, with only one disk being moved at a time, and with no disk being placed on top of a smaller disk.

In the quantum-mechanical version of the Towers of Hanoi, the three posts are represented by the resonators and the disks by quanta of light with different energy. "This game demonstrates that a truly Bosonic excitation can be shuffled among resonators an interesting example of the quantum-mechanical nature of light," said Mariantoni.


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Contact: Gail Gallessich
gail.g@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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