In physics, nonreciprocity occurs when a system's response varies depending on the direction in which waves or signals are propagating within it. This asymmetry arises from a break in so-called time-reversal symmetry, which essentially means that a system's processes observed as they evolve over time will be different compared to those processes observed on rewind.

Nonreciprocity is commonly leveraged when developing new quantum technologies, for instance, to enable the flow of signals in a specific direction and to suppress noise. So far, however, it had rarely been applied to the development of quantum solutions.

Researchers at University of Gdansk in Poland and University of Calgary in Canada recently explored the possibility of using nonreciprocity to optimize the charging dynamics of quantum batteries. Their paper, published in Physical Review Letters, introduces new nonreciprocal quantum batteries that perform remarkably well, both in terms of energy capacity and efficiency.

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