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Laser-Like Photons Signal Major Step Towards Quantum ‘Internet’

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Posted March 21, 2013
An artist's impression of distributed qubits (the bright spots) linked to each other via photons (the light beams). The colors of the beams represent that the optical frequency of the photons in each link can be tailored to the needs of the network. (Credit: Mete Atature)

An artist’s impression of distributed qubits (the bright spots) linked to each other via photons (the light beams). The colors of the beams represent that the optical frequency of the photons in each link can be tailored to the needs of the network. (Credit: Mete Atature)

The realisation of quantum networks is one of the major challenges of modern physics. Now, new research shows how high-quality photons can be generated from ‘solid-state’ chips, bringing us closer to the quantum ‘internet’.

The number of transistors on a microprocessor continues to double every two years, amazingly holding firm to a prediction by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore almost 50 years ago.

If this is to continue, conceptual and technical advances harnessing the power of quantum mechanics in microchips will need to be investigated within the next decade. Developing a distributed quantum network is one promising direction pursued by many researchers today.

A variety of solid-state systems are currently being investigated as candidates for quantum bits of information, or qubits, as well as a number of approaches to quantum computing protocols, and the race is on for identifying the best combination. One such qubit, a quantum dot, is made of semiconductor nanocrystals embedded in a chip and can be controlled electro-optically.

Single photons will form an integral part of distributed quantum networks as flying qubits. First, they are the natural choice for quantum communication, as they carry information quickly and reliably across long distances. Second, they can take part in quantum logic operations, provided all the photons taking part are identical.

Read more at: ScienceDaily.com

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