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Physics Seminars

Quantum tomography and the neutron inverse problem

Speaker: Dr Jorge Quintanilla Tizon (University of Kent)
Date: Wednesday 11 October 2023
Time: 15:00
Venue: Queens Building N3.28

Neutron scattering has been one of the work horses of experimental materials research for decades. However, it has been a long-held belief in the condensed-matter physics community that neutron scattering can only yield incomplete information about the state of the system under investigation. This is sometimes referred to as the 'phase problem' of neutron scattering: the fact that a neutron-scattering cross-section is more like a photograph than a hologram. I will describe and prove two theorems that suggest the situation may not be quite as bad in the case of quantum magnets. In fact, I shall argue that for many such systems the diffuse magnetic neutron scattering function can be used to completely determine the wave function. I will discuss the reasons for this as well as the limitations and speculate on the ways this could change how we practice neutron scattering. I will also place these results in the wider context of research into quantum information and quantum technology, including quantum computer applications.