Tübingen University physicists are the first to link atoms and superconductors in key step towards new hardware for quantum computers and networks
Today’s quantum technologies are set to revolutionize information processing, communications, and sensor technology in the coming decades. The basic building blocks of future quantum processors are, for example, atoms, superconducting quantum electronic circuits, spin crystals in diamonds, and photons. In recent years it has become clear that none of these quantum building blocks is able to meet all the requirements such as receiving and storing quantum signals, processing and transmitting them.
A research group headed by Professors József Fortágh, Reinhold Kleiner and Dieter Kölle of the University of Tübingen Institute of Physics has succeeded in linking magnetically-stored atoms on a chip with a superconducting microwave resonator.
The linking of these two building blocks is a significant step towards the construction of a hybrid quantum system of atoms and superconductors which will enable the further development of quantum processors and quantum networks. The study has been published in the latest Nature Communications.
Quantum states allow especially efficient algorithms which far outstrip the conventional options to date. Quantum communications protocols enable, in principle, unhackable data exchange. Quantum sensors yield the most precise physical measurement data. “To apply these new technologies in everyday life, we have to develop fundamentally new hardware components,” Fortágh says. Instead of the conventional signals used in today’s technology – bits – which can only be a one or a zero, the new hardware will have to process far more complex quantum entangled states.
“We can only achieve full functionality via the combination of different quantum building blocks,” Fortágh explains. In this way, fast calculations can be made using superconducting circuits; however storage is only possible on very short time scales. Neutral atoms hovering over a chip’s surface, due to their low strength for interactions with their environment, are ideal for quantum storage, and as emitters of photons for signal transmission.
For this reason, the researchers connected two components to make a hybrid in their latest study. The hybrid quantum system combines nature’s smallest quantum electronic building blocks – atoms – with artificial circuits – the superconducting microwave resonators.
“We use the functionality and advantages of both components,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Helge Hattermann, “The combination of the two unequal quantum systems could enable us to create a real quantum processor with superconducting quantum lattices, atomic quantum storage, and photonic qubits.” Qubits are – analogous to bits in conventional computing – the smallest unit of quantum signals.
The new hybrid system for future quantum processors and their networks forms a parallel with today’s technology, which is also a hybrid, as a look at your computer hardware shows: Calculations are made by microelectronic circuits; information is stored on magnetic media, and data is carried through fiber-optic cables via the internet. “Future quantum computers and their networks will operate on this analogy – requiring a hybrid approach and interdisciplinary research and development for full functionality,” Fortágh says.
H. Hattermann, D. Bothner, L. Y. Ley, B. Ferdinand, D. Wiedmaier, L. Sárkány, R. Kleiner, D. Koelle, and J. Fortágh: Coupling ultracold atoms to a superconducting coplanar waveguide resonator. Nature Communications, DOI 10.1038/s41467-017-02439-7.
Dr. Helge Hattermann
Prof. Dr. József Fortágh
University of Tübingen
Faculty of Science
Institute of Physics
CQ Center for Quantum Science
Phone +49 7071 29-76270
Dr. Karl Guido Rijkhoek | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
NUS engineers develop novel method for resolving spin texture of topological surface states using transport measurements
26.04.2018 | National University of Singapore
European particle-accelerator community publishes the first industry compendium
26.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Life Sciences
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering