Science News
from research organizations

Giant step forward taken in generating optical qubits

Generation of complex entangled quantum states on an optical chip demonstrated

Date:
March 10, 2016
Source:
Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS
Summary:
The optical chip overcomes a number of obstacles in the development of quantum computers. A research team has demonstrated that on-chip quantum frequency combs can be used to simultaneously generate multiphoton entangled quantum bit states. It is the first chip capable of simultaneously generating multi-photon qubit states and two-photon entangled states on hundreds of frequency modes. The chip is scalable, compact, and compatible with existing technologies.
Share:
FULL STORY

The optical chip developed at INRS by Prof. Roberto Morandotti's team overcomes a number of obstacles in the development of quantum computers, which are expected to revolutionize information processing. The international research team has demonstrated that on-chip quantum frequency combs can be used to simultaneously generate multiphoton entangled quantum bit (qubit) states.

Quantum computing differs fundamentally from classical computing, in that it is based on the generation and processing of qubits. Unlike classical bits, which can have a state of either 1 or 0, qubits allow a superposition of the 1 and 0 states (both simultaneously). Strikingly, multiple qubits can be linked in so-called 'entangled' states, where the manipulation of a single qubit changes the entire system, even if individual qubits are physically distant. This property is the basis for quantum information processing, aiming towards building superfast quantum computers and transferring information in a completely secure way.

Professor Morandotti has focused his research efforts on the realization of quantum components compatible with established technologies. The chip developed by his team was designed to meet numerous criteria for its direct use: it is compact, inexpensive to make, compatible with electronic circuits, and uses standard telecommunication frequencies. It is also scalable, an essential characteristic if it is to serve as a basis for practical systems. But the biggest technological challenge is the generation of multiple, stable, and controllable entangled qubit states.

The generation of qubits can rely on several different approaches, including electron spins, atomic energy levels, and photon quantum states. Photons have the advantage of preserving entanglement over long distances and time periods. But generating entangled photon states in a compact and scalable way is difficult. "What is most important, several such states have to be generated simultaneously if we are to arrive at practical applications," added INRS research associate Dr. Michael Kues.

Roberto Morandotti's team tackled this challenge by using on-chip optical frequency combs for the first time to generate multiple entangled qubit states of light. As Michael Kues explains, optical frequency combs are light sources comprised of many equally-spaced frequency modes. "Frequency combs are extraordinarily precise sources and have already revolutionized metrology and sensing, as well as earning their discoverers the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics."

Thanks to these integrated quantum frequency combs, the chip developed by INRS is able to generate entangled multi-photon qubit states over several hundred frequency modes. It is the first time anyone has demonstrated the simultaneous generation of qubit multi-photon and two-photon entangled states: Until now, integrated systems developed by other research teams had only succeeded in generating individual two-photon entangled states on a chip.

The results published in Science will provide a foundation for new research, both in integrated quantum photonics and quantum frequency combs. This could revolutionize optical quantum technologies, while at the same time maintaining compatibility with existing semiconductor chip technology.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS. The original item was written by Stéphanie Thibault. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Reimer, M. Kues, P. Roztocki, B. Wetzel, F. Grazioso, B. E. Little, S. T. Chu, T. Johnston, Y. Bromberg, L. Caspani, D. J. Moss, R. Morandotti. Generation of multiphoton entangled quantum states by means of integrated frequency combs. Science, 2016; 351 (6278): 1176 DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8532

Cite This Page:

Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS. "Giant step forward taken in generating optical qubits: Generation of complex entangled quantum states on an optical chip demonstrated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310164900.htm>.
Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS. (2016, March 10). Giant step forward taken in generating optical qubits: Generation of complex entangled quantum states on an optical chip demonstrated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310164900.htm
Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS. "Giant step forward taken in generating optical qubits: Generation of complex entangled quantum states on an optical chip demonstrated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310164900.htm (accessed July 28, 2016).

Share This Page: