Controlling quantum flux through measurement: An idealised example
1 Laboratoire de Physique Théorique de l'ENS, CNRS and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - Paris, France
2 Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA Saclay and CNRS - Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Received: 19 May 2014
Accepted: 4 July 2014
Classically, no transfer occurs between two equally filled reservoirs, no matter how one looks at them, but the situation can be different quantum-mechanically. This paradoxically surprising phenomenon rests on the distinctive property of the quantum world that one cannot stare at a system without disturbing it. It was recently discovered that this seemingly annoying feature could be harnessed to control small quantum systems using weak measurements. Here we present one of the simplest models —an idealised double quantum dot—where by toying with the dot measurement strength, i.e. the intensity of the look, it is possible to create a particle flux in an otherwise completely symmetric system. The basic property underlying this phenomena is that measurement disturbances are very different on a system evolving unitarily and a system evolving dissipatively. This effect shows that adaptive measurements can have dramatic effects enabling transport control but possibly inducing biases in the measurement of macroscopic quantities if not handled with care.
PACS: 03.65.Xp – Tunneling, traversal time, quantum Zeno dynamics / 03.65.Yz – Decoherence; open systems; quantum statistical methods
© EPLA, 2014