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Open AccessArticle

Optomechanical Analogy for Toy Cosmology with Quantized Scale Factor

by Joseph A. Smiga 1,2 and Jacob M. Taylor 1,2,3,*
Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Joint Quantum Institute/NIST, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Tokyo 153-0041, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2017, 19(9), 485;
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Quantum Information)
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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Smiga, J.A.; Taylor, J.M. Optomechanical Analogy for Toy Cosmology with Quantized Scale Factor. Entropy 2017, 19, 485.

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