The nature of the transition between the familiar classical, macroscopic world and the quantum, microscopic one continues to be poorly understood. Expanding the regime of observable quantum behaviour to large-scale objects is therefore an exciting open problem. In macroscopic systems of interacting particles, rapid thermalization usually destroys any quantum coherence before it can be measured or used at room temperature. Here, we demonstrate quantum processing in the vibrational modes of a macroscopic diamond sample under ambient conditions. Using ultrafast Raman scattering, we create an extended, highly non-classical state in the optical phonon modes of bulk diamond. Direct measurement of phonon coherence and correlations establishes the non-classical nature of the crystal dynamics. These results show that optical phonons in diamond provide a unique opportunity for the study of large-scale quantum behaviour, and highlight the potential for diamond as a micro-photonic quantum processor capable of operating at terahertz rates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics