University researchers develop the very first optical microchip to generate, adjust and identify a state of light referred to as squeezed vacuum, which is vital to quantum computation.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle denotes that light exist in a wave-form of probability until it is measured or observed. However, light can also exist in the space between wave and particle where there is less uncertainty as to where a particle may appear. Scientists can invoke that state with optical nonlinear interactions – a way they can “partially measure” light using high intensity laser beams.
The real visible difference? A reduction in polarization (above) so that photons appear in a narrower range of possible space (below). By increasing predictability not so much as to collapse the wave but generate a more repetitive structure in time, scientists can more easily program quantum computers.
The newly created microchip is 1.5cm wide, 5cm long and 0.5cm thick
Each component is connected by a waveguide, tiny channels of crystal that guide light around the microchip much in the same way that copper wires enable an electrical circuit.
“This experiment is the first to integrate three of the basic steps needed for an optical quantum computer, which are the generation of quantum states of light, their manipulation in a fast and reconfigurable way, and their detection,” said Dr Francesco Lenzini from the University of Munster
A week and a half ago we reported that scientists had successfully attained dynamic decoupling of quantum computers along with simultaneous operation across multiple qubits at once.
cover photo: CC0 Public Domain