Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Transferring quantum information using sound

06.06.2018

How can quantum information be transferred from one atom to another? A team of researchers from TU Wien and Harvard University has proposed using phonons -- the quanta of sound

Quantum physics is on the brink of a technological breakthrough: new types of sensors, secure data transmission methods and maybe even computers could be made possible thanks to quantum technologies. However, the main obstacle here is finding the right way to couple and precisely control a sufficient number of quantum systems (for example, individual atoms).


Microwaves can influence the 'quantum switches' in a narrow diamond rod, which can be linked by vibrations.

Credit: TU Wien

A team of researchers from TU Wien and Harvard University has found a new way to transfer the necessary quantum information. They propose using tiny mechanical vibrations. The atoms are coupled with each other by 'phonons' - the smallest quantum mechanical units of vibrations or sound waves.

Tiny diamonds with deliberate defects

"We are testing tiny diamonds with built-in silicon atoms - these quantum systems are particularly promising," says Professor Peter Rabl from TU Wien. "Normally, diamonds are made exclusively of carbon, but adding silicon atoms in certain places creates defects in the crystal lattice where quantum information can be stored." These microscopic flaws in the crystal lattice can be used like a tiny switch that can be switched between a state of higher energy and a state of lower energy using microwaves.

Together with a team from Harvard University, Peter Rabl's research group has developed a new idea to achieve the targeted coupling of these quantum memories within the diamond. One by one they can be built into a tiny diamond rod measuring only a few micrometres in length, like individual pearls on a necklace. Just like a tuning fork, this rod can then be made to vibrate - however, these vibrations are so small that they can only be described using quantum theory. It is through these vibrations that the silicon atoms can form a quantum-mechanical link to each other.

"Light is made from photons, the quantum of light. In the same way, mechanical vibrations or sound waves can also be described in a quantum-mechanical manner. They are comprised of phonons - the smallest possible units of mechanical vibration," explains Peter Rabl. As the research team has now been able to show using simulation calculations, any number of these quantum memories can be linked together in the diamond rod thanks to these phonons. The individual silicon atoms are "switched on and off" using microwaves. During this process, they emit or absorb phonons. This creates a quantum entanglement of different silicon defects, thus allowing quantum information to be transferred.

The road to a scalable quantum network

Until now it was not clear whether something like this was even possible: "Usually you would expect the phonons to be absorbed somewhere, or to come into contact with the environment and thus lose their quantum mechanical properties," says Peter Rabl. "Phonons are the enemy of quantum information, so to speak. But with our calculations, we were able to show that, when controlled appropriately using microwaves, the phonons are in fact useable for technical applications."

The main advantage of this new technology lies in its scalability: "There are many ideas for quantum systems that, in principle, can be used for technological applications. The biggest problem is that it is very difficult to connect enough of them to be able to carry out complicated computing operations," says Peter Rabl. The new strategy of using phonons for this purpose could pave the way to a scalable quantum technology.

Contact:

Prof. Peter Rabl
Atominstitut
TU Wien
Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna
T: +43-1-58801-141830
peter.rabl@tuwien.ac.at

Media Contact

Florian Aigner
florian.aigner@tuwien.ac.at
0043-155-801-41027

 @tuvienna

http://www.tuwien.ac.at/tu_vienna/ 

Florian Aigner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.tuwien.ac.at/en/news/news_detail/article/125864/
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.213603

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Rutgers-led research could lead to more efficient electronics
05.06.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Direct Coupling of the Higgs Boson to the Top Quark Observed
05.06.2018 | Universität Zürich

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: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

12th COMPAMED Spring Convention: Innovative manufacturing processes of modern implants

28.05.2018 | Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transferring quantum information using sound

06.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

More detailed data on thermal conditions of Arctic ground

06.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Male Vervet Monkeys Use Punishment and Coercion to De-Escalate Costly Intergroup Fights

06.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>