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Entropy 2017, 19(9), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19090485

Optomechanical Analogy for Toy Cosmology with Quantized Scale Factor

1
Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science, College Park, MD 20742, USA
2
Joint Quantum Institute/NIST, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Tokyo 153-0041, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Quantum Information)
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Abstract

The simplest cosmology—the Friedmann–Robertson–Walker–Lemaître (FRW) model— describes a spatially homogeneous and isotropic universe where the scale factor is the only dynamical parameter. Here we consider how quantized electromagnetic fields become entangled with the scale factor in a toy version of the FRW model. A system consisting of a photon, source, and detector is described in such a universe, and we find that the detection of a redshifted photon by the detector system constrains possible scale factor superpositions. Thus, measuring the redshift of the photon is equivalent to a weak measurement of the underlying cosmology. We also consider a potential optomechanical analogy system that would enable experimental exploration of these concepts. The analogy focuses on the effects of photon redshift measurement as a quantum back-action on metric variables, where the position of a movable mirror plays the role of the scale factor. By working in the rotating frame, an effective Hubble equation can be simulated with a simple free moving mirror. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum measurement; cosmology; optomechanics quantum measurement; cosmology; optomechanics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Smiga, J.A.; Taylor, J.M. Optomechanical Analogy for Toy Cosmology with Quantized Scale Factor. Entropy 2017, 19, 485.

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