Scientists from the University of Tokyo have made a breakthrough in quantum battery technology by exploiting a quantum process that challenges conventional causality. Quantum batteries, which use subatomic phenomena to gain, distribute, and store power, have the potential to outperform traditional chemical batteries in low-power applications. However, their efficiency depends on the way they are charged. The researchers used a quantum effect called indefinite causal order (ICO) to charge a quantum battery, which allows both directions of causality to exist simultaneously. This resulted in huge gains in both the energy stored in the system and thermal efficiency. The team believes that ICO’s principles could be used to improve the performance of other tasks involving thermodynamics or processes that involve the transfer of heat, such as solar panels. While quantum batteries currently only exist as laboratory experiments, this breakthrough brings them a step closer to practical applications in portable and low-power devices.
Date: Dec 14, 2023