While many of us enjoyed constructing little houses out of toy bricks when we were kids, this task is much more difficult if bricks are elementary particles. It is even harder if these are particles of light – photons, which can only exist while flying at an incredible speed and vanish if they touch anything.
A team at the University of Calgary has accomplished exactly that: by manipulating a mysterious quantum property of light known as entanglement, they are able to mount up to two photons on top of one another to construct a variety of quantum states of light – that is, build two-story quantum toy houses of any style and architecture.
The results of their research, written in the paper Quantum-optical state engineering up to the two-photon level, will be published on Nature Photonics's website on Feb. 14 at 1800 London time / 1300 Eastern time, which is also when the embargo will lift.
"This ability to prepare or control complex quantum objects is considered the holy grail of quantum science" says Andrew MacRae, a co-author of the paper and PhD physics student at the U of C. "It brings us closer to the onset of the new era of quantum information technology."
This new generation of technology is expected to endow us with qualitatively new capabilities. This includes measurement instruments of extraordinary sensitivity, dramatically faster computers, secure communication systems and enhanced control over chemical reactions.
"Light is a particularly interesting quantum object," says paper author Alexander Lvovsky, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, "because it's an excellent communication tool. No matter what future quantum computers will be made of, they'll talk to each other using photons."
U of C researchers used mirrors and lenses to focus a blue laser beam into a specialized crystal. This crystal takes high energy blue photons and converts them into a quantum superposition of lower energy red photons, which emerge in two directions, or 'channels'. By measuring one of the channels using ultra-sensitive single photon detectors, the physicists prepare the desired quantum state in the other.
Such an operation is possible because the photons in the two channels are entangled: a measurement made in one channel would result in an immediate change in the other, regardless of whether the particles were an arm's length apart or light years away. Albert Einstein called this quantum weirdness "spooky action at a distance."
"Quantum light is like an ocean," says Lvovsky, "and it's full of mysteries and treasures. Our task is to conquer it. But so far, physicists were able to control only a tiny island in this ocean. What we have done is to make this island bigger."
Leanne Yohemas | EurekAlert!
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences