Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

HP researchers propose new path to optical quantum computing

04.07.2005


Researchers from HP Laboratories in Bristol, UK, have proposed an approach to distributed optical quantum computing with a technique that is highly efficient, flexible and scalable.



Quantum computing is expected to be much more powerful than conventional information processing. It should be able to search faster and simulate better, factor large numbers efficiently and virtually guarantee secure communications.

Optical quantum computing – using photons instead of electrons for computation – is one possible approach to quantum computing. The technology might still be several decades away from practical implementation.


The researchers – Dr Bill Munro and Dr Tim Spiller, of HP Labs Bristol, with Professor Kae Nemoto, of the National Institute of Informatics (NII), Tokyo – have proposed an approach that generates interactions between photons by using so-called weak optical nonlinearities and intense laser fields. The result is the creation of two-photon gates, the basic building blocks of a quantum computer. They have published their results in the New Journal of Physics: (http://stacks.iop.org/1367-2630/7/137)

Normally, photons, the basic components of light, do not easily interact or ‘talk’ to each other. That is why multiple light signals carrying different information can be sent along a thin optical fibre without interfering with each other. But for quantum information processing and communication, it is vital that photons do interact when called upon to do so. The photons are the qubits – the basic information bits – in this model of a quantum computer.

Why use an optical quantum system rather than solid state? Dr Spiller points out that light can be used for both quantum computing and quantum communication at the same time, which would not be the case with a solid-state system, where “static” quantum information would have to be mapped onto light to communicate it. This means that the approach is suitable for distributed quantum computing, so that small but useful clusters of qubits can be physically separated – even at different sites – but linked together for computation.

The new approach uses weak nonlinearities and strong laser pulses to generate the interaction between the two individual photons. The laser pulse acts as an intermediary between the photons, first ‘talking’ to one, then the other, so that the two photons become entangled. In quantum processing, generally attempting to check on the state of entangled qubits leads to the collapse of the information they carry. But with the HP-NII team’s approach, only the information in the laser pulse collapses; the qubit photons become entangled through this collapse.

Dr Spiller describes single photons – in fact any kind of qubit – as “precious” and points out that optical quantum computing systems that have previously been proposed would need hundreds of them to operate at all. And most of those photons would be wasted. The HP-NII system operates with single photons and wastes none. This makes it much more practical and efficient for quantum information and communication because today, single photons are hard to generate.

At the heart of the system is a single-photon detector – an innovation proposed by the HP Labs team – that is also used as a single-photon source. This is used to generate photons on demand.

The scheme is reliable because the communication between separated quantum processing sites can be mediated by robust laser pulses rather than fragile single photon qubits.

Dr Munro said: “Our approach provides the fundamental building blocks for quantum computation, including highly efficient non-absorbing single-photon detectors, two-qubit parity detectors, near deterministic CNOT gates and more. All these elements are essential quantum information processing devices.” The approach is open for experimentalists to test.

HP Labs is one of the leading corporate research institutions with activities in the field of quantum science. As a global IT company, it is important for HP to be involved in such far-reaching research in quantum information processing, which could have a significant impact on information and communication technology in the future.

Julian Richards | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hp.com
http://stacks.iop.org/1367-2630/7/137

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>