New Haven, Conn. Two major steps toward putting quantum computers into real practice sending a photon signal on demand from a qubit onto wires and transmitting the signal to a second, distant qubit have been brought about by a team of scientists at Yale. The accomplishments are reported in sequential issues of Nature on September 20 and September 27, on which it is highlighted as the cover along with complementary work from a group at the National Institute of Standards and Technologies.
Over the past several years, the research team of Professors Robert Schoelkopf in applied physics and Steven Girvin in physics has explored the use of solid-state devices resembling microchips as the basic building blocks in the design of a quantum computer. Now, for the first time, they report that superconducting qubits, or artificial atoms, have been able to communicate information not only to their nearest neighbor, but also to a distant qubit on the chip.
This research now moves quantum computing from having information to communicating information. In the past information had only been transferred directly from qubit to qubit in a superconducting system. Schoelkopf and Girvins team has engineered a superconducting communication bus to store and transfer information between distant quantum bits, or qubits, on a chip. This work, according to Schoelkopf, is the first step to making the fundamentals of quantum computing useful.
The first breakthrough reported is the ability to produce on demand and control single, discrete microwave photons as the carriers of encoded quantum information. While microwave energy is used in cell phones and ovens, their sources do not produce just one photon. This new syste
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