Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quantum entanglement used to stack light particles

Date:
February 15, 2010
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
Physicists are now able to mount up to two photons on top of one another to construct a variety of quantum states of light.

While many of us enjoyed constructing little houses out of toy bricks when we were kids, this task is much more difficult if bricks are elementary particles. It is even harder if these are particles of light -- photons, which can only exist while flying at an incredible speed and vanish if they touch anything.

A team at the University of Calgary has accomplished exactly that: by manipulating a mysterious quantum property of light known as entanglement, they are able to mount up to two photons on top of one another to construct a variety of quantum states of light -- that is, build two-story quantum toy houses of any style and architecture.

"This ability to prepare or control complex quantum objects is considered the holy grail of quantum science" says Andrew MacRae, a co-author of the paper and PhD physics student at the U of C. "It brings us closer to the onset of the new era of quantum information technology."

This new generation of technology is expected to endow us with qualitatively new capabilities. This includes measurement instruments of extraordinary sensitivity, dramatically faster computers, secure communication systems and enhanced control over chemical reactions.

"Light is a particularly interesting quantum object," says paper author Alexander Lvovsky, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, "because it's an excellent communication tool. No matter what future quantum computers will be made of, they'll talk to each other using photons."

U of C researchers used mirrors and lenses to focus a blue laser beam into a specialized crystal. This crystal takes high energy blue photons and converts them into a quantum superposition of lower energy red photons, which emerge in two directions, or 'channels'. By measuring one of the channels using ultra-sensitive single photon detectors, the physicists prepare the desired quantum state in the other.

Such an operation is possible because the photons in the two channels are entangled: a measurement made in one channel would result in an immediate change in the other, regardless of whether the particles were an arm's length apart or light years away. Albert Einstein called this quantum weirdness "spooky action at a distance."

"Quantum light is like an ocean," says Lvovsky, "and it's full of mysteries and treasures. Our task is to conquer it. But so far, physicists were able to control only a tiny island in this ocean. What we have done is to make this island bigger."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Calgary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erwan Bimbard, Nitin Jain, Andrew MacRae & A. I. Lvovsky. Quantum-optical state engineering up to the two-photon level. Nature Photonics, Feb 14, 2010 DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.6

Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "Quantum entanglement used to stack light particles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100214143131.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2010, February 15). Quantum entanglement used to stack light particles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100214143131.htm
University of Calgary. "Quantum entanglement used to stack light particles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100214143131.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) — The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) — President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) — Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins