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Quantum superposition, entanglement, and state teleportation of a microorganism on an electromechanical oscillator

An Erratum to this article was published on 25 January 2016


Schrödinger’s thought experiment to prepare a cat in a superposition of both alive and dead states reveals profound consequences of quantum mechanics and has attracted enormous interests. Here we propose a straightforward method to create quantum superposition states of a living microorganism by putting a small cryopreserved bacterium on top of an electromechanical oscillator. Our proposal is based on recent developments that the center-of-mass oscillation of a 15-μm-diameter aluminum membrane has been cooled to its quantum ground state (Teufel et al. in Nature 475:359, 2011), and entangled with a microwave field (Palomaki et al. in Science 342:710, 2013). A microorganism with a mass much smaller than the mass of the electromechanical membrane will not significantly affect the quality factor of the membrane and can be cooled to the quantum ground state together with the membrane. Quantum superposition and teleportation of its center-of-mass motion state can be realized with the help of superconducting microwave circuits. More importantly, the internal states of a microorganism, such as the electron spin of a glycine radical, can be entangled with its center-of-mass motion and teleported to a remote microorganism. Our proposal can be realized with state-of-the-art technologies. The proposed setup is a quantum-limited magnetic resonance force microscope. Since internal states of an organism contain information, our proposal also provides a scheme for teleporting information or memories between two remote organisms.


薛定谔猫的假想实验展示了量子力学的奇异性质并引起了广泛兴趣.我们提出把一个低温冷冻保存的微生物放在一个电机械振子上来实现活体微生物的量子态叠加, 纠缠和隐形传态. 目前,实验上已经把一个直径15微米的电机械振子的质心运动冷却到量子基态[Nature 475:359 (2011)], 并和微波光子纠缠[Science 342: 710 (2013)]. 把一个质量远小于电机械振子的微生物放在振子上面不会对它的性质和量子操控造成显著影响. 这个微生物可以和振子共同冷却到量子基态并制备到叠加态. 利用一个强磁场梯度,微生物的内部状态(比如甘氨酸自由基的电子自旋)可以和微生物的质心运动纠缠, 并被量子隐形传态到另外一个微生物. 因为微生物的内部状态包含信息, 这个方案能实现两个微生物之间信息和记忆的量子隐形传态.这篇论文也提供了一个达到量子极限的磁共振力学显微镜方案

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TL would like to thank the support from Purdue University and helpful discussions with G. Csathy, F. Robicheaux, C. Greene, and V. Shalaev. ZQY is funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (2011CBA00300 and 2011CBA00302) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11105136, 11474177 and 61435007). ZQY would like to thank the useful discussion with Lei Zhang.

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Correspondence to Tongcang Li.

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Li, T., Yin, ZQ. Quantum superposition, entanglement, and state teleportation of a microorganism on an electromechanical oscillator. Sci. Bull. 61, 163–171 (2016).

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  • Quantum superposition
  • Quantum entanglement
  • Quantum teleportation
  • Schrödinger's cat
  • Electromechanical Oscillator
  • Cryopreserved microorganism