Paper of UP physicist is one of last year’s best, says international journal

Photo from the National Institute of Physics website

The paper of a UP theoretical physicist was one of the best scientific articles of 2016, according to peer-reviewed journal Europhysics Letters.

Internal One Degree of Freedom Is Sufficient to Induce Exact Coherence,” authored by Professor Eric Galapon of the UP Diliman National Institute of Physics, proves that there is a measurement scheme that decoheres without the help of an environment.

In current quantum orthodoxy, the measuring instrument is believed to be immersed in an environment and that it is the interaction between the environment and the meter that enforces decoherence. 

However, by giving the measuring instrument an internal degree of freedom and making it independent of the environment, Galapon was able to show a measurement scheme that had the same results as one where the instrument was not isolated from the environment. Specifically, he found that coherences not only died out within a finite measurement time but they “decayed asymptotically in time for a general initial state of the probe.”

Europhysics Letters chose the top 83 articles based on editor recommendations and high visibility.

In 2010, Galapon received the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines for his “significant original contributions in the field of theoretical physics specifically on the fundamental issue of time in quantum physics.”