comment on this article

Quantum computer research reaches ‘significant milestone’

Scientists make major advancements in the development of a large scale quantum computer
Scientists make major advancements in the development of a large scale quantum computer

Scientists at Santa Barbara University have announced major advancements in the development of a large scale quantum computer, as well as a breakthrough in the quantum control of light.

The team, which included scientists from Zhejiang University in China and NEC, Japan, used a superconducting quantum integrated circuit to generate unique quantum states of light known as NOON states. These states, generated from microwave frequency photons (the quantum unit of light), were created and stored in two physically separated microwave storage cavities.

According to Haohua Wang, postdoctoral fellow in physics at Santa Barbara University, the quantum NOON states were created using one, two, or three photons. All of these photons were placed in one cavity, leaving the other empty. This was simultaneous with the first cavity being empty, with all the photons stored in the second cavity. "This seemingly impossible situation, allowed by quantum mechanics, led to interesting results when we looked inside the cavities," he said. "There was a 50% chance of seeing all the photons in one cavity and a 50% chance of not finding any – in which case all the photons could always be found in the other cavity."

However, Wang found that if one of the cavities was gently probed before looking inside, thus changing the quantum state, the effect of the probing could be seen, even if that cavity was subsequently found to be empty. "It's kind of like the states are ghostly twins or triplets," he said. "They are always together, but somehow you never know where they are. They also have a mysterious way of communicating, so they always seem to know what is going to happen."

Wang likened these types of states with what Einstein termed 'spooky action at a distance', whereby prodding or measuring a quantum state in one location affects its behaviour elsewhere. "The quantum integrated circuit, which includes superconducting quantum bits in addition to the microwave storage cavities, forms part of what could become a quantum computational architecture in the future," concluded Wang.

The research has been published in the 7 February edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

Author
Laura Hopperton

Comment on this article


This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Enjoy this story? People who read this article also read...

What you think about this article:


Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Pushing ahead to 7nm

The semiconductor manufacturing sector's mission to conform to the demands of ...

NI Trend Watch 2014

This report from National Instruments summarises the latest trends in the ...

Capactive sensing

This whitepaper looks at a number of capacitive sensing applications to ...

Better batteries

For much of the last Century, battery technology didn't really need to ...

The tale of the tape

Data storage, at least at the consumer end of the scale, is dominated by flash ...