Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Distant artificial atoms cooperate by sharing light: Future applications in advanced quantum devices

Date:
November 14, 2013
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
Scientists have shown for the first time that atoms can work collectively rather than independently of each other to share light. Quantum physicists have long discussed such an effect, but it has not been seen before in an experiment.

This is an illustration of the artificial atoms or "qubits" alongside the one-dimensional "waveguide" or transmission line.
Credit: Illustration by Arjan van Loo

An international team of scientists has shown for the first time that atoms can work collectively rather than independently of each other to share light.

Related Articles


Quantum physicists have long discussed such an effect, but it has not been seen before in an experiment.

The team included scientists from ETH Zürich (a leading university in Switzerland) who performed the experiment and theoretical scientists from the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec and the University of Calgary.

The researchers showed the sharing of light or "photon-mediated interaction" between artificial atoms confined to a one-dimensional quantum system.

Their paper, "Photon-mediated interactions between distant artificial atoms," is published this week in the journal Science.

Research shows long-held theory was accurate

"It's an unobserved effect that has been discussed for decades, and we see it with excellent agreement between theory and experiment," says co-author Barry Sanders, a researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and iCORE Chair of Quantum Information Science.

The two artificial atoms "showed a coherent exchange interaction, something not seen before for distant quantum systems in an open environment," says lead author Arjan van Loo, a PhD student in the Quantum Device Lab at ETH Zürich.

Realizing fundamental quantum interactions between individual quantum systems in one dimension is crucial to advance quantum-based devices.

"Systems like ours are expected to be useful for routing quantum information along quantum communication lines [one-dimensional waveguides] on devices used for quantum information processing or quantum communication," says co-author Andreas Wallraff, professor of Solid-State Physics at ETH Zürich.

Man-made circuits can be engineered to exhibit unnatural but useful behaviour

This research shows that "man-made electrical circuits can now be engineered in such a way to exhibit behaviour that is not possible in 'natural' quantum systems," says co-author Alexandre Blais, associate professor of physics at Université de Sherbrooke.

Getting artificial atoms to work collectively could lead to control of microwave fields in superconducting circuits with benefits, including ways to protect quantum information against "noise" or damage to the signal, says Sanders, director of the University of Calgary's Institute for Quantum Science and Technology. "I think what we've shown is going to be critical for future applications."

The key to the team's approach was to do the experiment in one dimension rather than in three dimensions where the interaction between atoms is weak and declines significantly with distance.

"In our experiment, we surpassed these limitations by specially engineering the critical properties of our artificial quantum systems," says co-author Arkady Fedorov, a postdoc at ETH Zürich when the experiment was done, and now a group leader at the ARC Centre for Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems at the University of Queensland in Australia.

One-dimensional environment key to research findings

The researchers confined two artificial atoms to one dimension using a waveguide (similar to confining light in an optical fibre), which greatly increased the possibility of the two systems interacting and enabled the researchers to measure this interaction.

Using superconducting circuits, the team was able to put two artificial atoms alongside the waveguide and then send a microwave field through this one-dimensional waveguide.

At a distance of approximately two centimetres -- much larger than typically expected for quantum systems -- the two atom-like systems formed a type of weakly bound molecule, due to the exchange of photons ('particles' of light).

"We also observed how the superconducting circuits either synchronize to emit radiation much more efficiently displaying superradiance (a very bright source of radiation), or how the circuits trap radiation, turning the two systems dark, as they do not emit photons anymore," Wallraff says.

The Canadian theorists used the "Mammouth" supercomputer that is part of a national high-performance computing platform coordinated by Compute Canada to solve analytical equations. They "also worked a lot with the experimentalists to understand intuitively the physics going on," says co-author Kevin Lalumière, a PhD student in physics at Université de Sherbrooke.

Financial support for the research was provided by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, ETH Zürich and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Calgary. The original article was written by Mark Lowey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arjan F. van Loo, Arkady Fedorov, Kevin Lalumière, Barry C. Sanders, Alexandre Blais, and Andreas Wallraff. Photon-Mediated Interactions Between Distant Artificial Atoms. Science, 14 November 2013 DOI: 10.1126/science.1244324

Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "Distant artificial atoms cooperate by sharing light: Future applications in advanced quantum devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114142132.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2013, November 14). Distant artificial atoms cooperate by sharing light: Future applications in advanced quantum devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114142132.htm
University of Calgary. "Distant artificial atoms cooperate by sharing light: Future applications in advanced quantum devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114142132.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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