Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Cost of Quantum Research

  1. Nov 30, 2015 #1
    Hello,

    I am an amateur scientist and I’d like ask a question about the cost (estimate) and if it’s even possible to conduct a specific research relating to quantum physics.

    What I want to do putting it simply is to entangle millions of particles even billions and measure their spins.

    Is this even possible?

    How much would such a research cost in equipment and quantum physicists to actually conduct the experiment?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2015 #2
    You need to specify the purpose for the experiment in order to attract any funding.
     
  4. Nov 30, 2015 #3
    My intention is not to attract any funding but to estimate the cost to decide if I could fund it myself or look for external sources to fund such research.
     
  5. Nov 30, 2015 #4
    You still have to propose an experiment which either discounts some theory, or otherwise supports it.
     
  6. Nov 30, 2015 #5
    May I ask why would I have to propose an experiment? I’m asking a simple question about the cost of equipment, what does that have to do with the experiment itself?
     
  7. Nov 30, 2015 #6
    It depends on what you are trying to achieive.
    Nobody is likely to stop you doing experiments any way you want as long as it isn't dangerous to other other people.
     
  8. Nov 30, 2015 #7
    Dangerous! how would entangling particles be dangerous in any way?
     
  9. Dec 1, 2015 #8
    Well for one thing this suggests a remote possibility for a teleportation technology.
    lf that was real, then the consequences of an accident could be far worse than the average nuclear power plant melt down.
     
  10. Dec 1, 2015 #9
    Please provide papers or any sources so I can understand what is it that you are talking about…when you say “Teleportation Technology”
     
  11. Dec 1, 2015 #10
    It was a joke, there is no expected possibility of teleportation of material objects as a result of quantum entanglement as a theory.
    Nevertheless if you want to do physics experiments which test quantum theories, you won't be able to do that with cheap stuff available from your local hardware store.
     
  12. Dec 1, 2015 #11
    Excuse my lack of sense of humor :)…. I understand it’s not going to be cheap but what I want to know is if it would cost in Thousands of dollars or millions?
     
  13. Dec 1, 2015 #12

    e.bar.goum

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    So you're trying to reproduce something like this? http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6060/1253.abstract

    Looking at their setup, the low end would be, what, a hundred thousand dollars? The laser you need to start with will set you back ~$50-100 thousand dollars, for a start, and the kind of sophisticated optics you need don't come cheap. This doesn't include any ability to measure spin, further.

    There's a reason physics has to be supported by governments.

    ETA: I suspect I have severely underestimated, actually.
     
  14. Dec 1, 2015 #13
    Thanks e.bar.goum for your reply, that was the answer i was looking for. so we can safely say a low end setup would not exceed say 500000$?
     
  15. Dec 1, 2015 #14

    e.bar.goum

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I wouldn't be willing to say this, no. It depends very much on the exact nature of the setup! Further, "to entangle millions of particles even billions and measure their spins." isn't a low end experiment. The larger the system gets, the harder it is to maintain entanglement, so the more sophisticated the setup required. If you've got to use cryogenics, things get even worse. I suppose the easiest way to "entangle millions of particles" would be to do it with a BEC, but that's a bit different. But a BEC setup really isn't cheap either. And since you're starting from scratch, you'll have to get damping tables etc.

    Because this very much depends on the exact experiment, I'd write a parts list, and start getting quotes - it's really the only way to do it.

    If you look at the paper I linked to, they have the grant # in the acknowledgements - much of the money goes to salaries etc, but it'll give you an idea of the general amounts of money.
     
  16. Dec 1, 2015 #15
    That puts things in perspective, thanks again.
     
  17. Dec 1, 2015 #16

    DrClaude

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    To expand on this: if your question was a general curiosity about the cost of equipment in actual research labs, then $105 is the right ballpark. If the question is "How much do I need to spend to do this sort of experiment," then the answer will be much, much higher, as you will need to spend lots of money to hire lots of good people to work for many years to achieve something like this. Even making a BEC is not trivial, and you need people that are very knowledgeable to achieve it.
     
  18. Dec 1, 2015 #17

    DrClaude

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook