- Dec 10, 2006
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SourceManipulating light on a chip for quantum technologies
A team of physicists and engineers at Bristol University has demonstrated exquisite control of single particles of light — photons — on a silicon chip to make a major advance towards long-sought-after quantum technologies, including super-powerful quantum computers and ultra-precise measurements.
The Bristol Centre for Quantum Photonics has demonstrated precise control of four photons using a microscopic metal electrode lithographically patterned onto a silicon chip.
The photons propagate in silica waveguides — much like in optical fibres — patterned on a silicon chip, and are manipulated with the electrode, resulting in a high-performance miniaturized device.
“We have been able to generate and manipulate entangled states of photons on a silicon chip” said PhD student, Jonathan Matthews, who together with Alberto Politi performed the experiments. “These entangled states are responsible for famously ‘weird’ behaviour arising in quantum mechanics, but are also at the heart of powerful quantum technologies.”
“This precise manipulation is a very exciting development for fundamental science as well as for future quantum technologies.” said Prof Jeremy O’Brien, Director of the Centre for Quantum Photonics, who led the research.
Quantum Computing is seen as one of the next major landmarks in computing, and will greatly influence a variety of fields (Mathematics, Science, Cryptology, etc). One example is that it will be able to solve 'Bounded error, Quantum, Polynomial time' problems, compared to current Turing machines and 'Bounded error, Probabilistic, Polynomial time' problems. If people thought that the past 20 years saw amazing advances in technology, just wait for the next 20 to occur. ;D