Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in two colors at once

Date:
July 9, 2011
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Researchers have created a tunable superconducting circuit on a chip that can place a single microwave photon in two frequencies, or colors, at the same time.

The NIST prototype 'Optics Table on a Chip' places a microwave photon in two colors at once.
Credit: D. Schmidt/NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a tunable superconducting circuit on a chip that can place a single microwave photon (particle of light) in two frequencies, or colors, at the same time.

This curious "superposition," a hallmark of the quantum world, is a chip-scale, microwave version of a common optics experiment in which a device called a beam-splitter sends a photon into either of two possible paths across a table of lasers, lenses and mirrors. The new NIST circuit can be used to create and manipulate different quantum states, and is thus a prototype of the scientific community's long-sought "optics table on a chip."

Described in Nature Physics, the NIST experiments also created the first microwave-based bit for linear optical quantum computing. This type of quantum computer is typically envisioned as storing information in either the path of a light beam or the polarization (orientation) of single photons. In contrast, a microwave version would store information in a photon's frequency. Quantum computers, if they can be built, could solve certain problems that are intractable today.

The new NIST circuit combines components used in superconducting quantum computing experiments -- a single photon source, a cavity that naturally resonates or vibrates at particular frequencies, and a coupling device called a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device). Scientists tuned the SQUID properties to couple together two resonant frequencies of the cavity and then manipulated a photon to make it oscillate between different superpositions of the two frequencies. For instance, the photon could switch back and forth from equal 50/50 proportions of both frequencies to an uneven 75/25 split. This experimental setup traps photons in a "box" (the cavity) instead of sending them flying across an optical table.

"This is a new way to manipulate microwave quantum states trapped in a box," says NIST physicist Josι Aumentado, a co-author of the new paper. "The reason this is exciting is it's already technically feasible to produce interesting quantum states in chip-scale devices such as superconducting resonators, and now we can manipulate these states just as in traditional optics setups."

NIST researchers can control how the new circuit couples different quantum states of the resonator over time. As a result, they can create sequences of interactions to make simple optical circuits and reproduce traditional optics experiments. For example, they can make a measurement tool called an interferometer based on the frequency/color of a single photon, or produce special quantum states of light such as "squeezed" light.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eva Zakka-Bajjani, Franηois Nguyen, Minhyea Lee, Leila R. Vale, Raymond W. Simmonds, Josι Aumentado. Quantum superposition of a single microwave photon in two different ’colour’ states. Nature Physics, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nphys2035

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in two colors at once." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707111041.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2011, July 9). Prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in two colors at once. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707111041.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in two colors at once." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707111041.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) — Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) — Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
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