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cooltwins • Jul 26, 2012

Single-Photon Transmitter Brings Major Breakthrough For Quantum Computers

Quantum Computing involves performing calculations at a very high speed, while having protection from eaves-dropping. But building a Quantum Computer is no cake walk, in fact, developing the quantum components involve a lot of problems. Now a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard have come up with a possible solution to one of the problems. They can convert a laser beam into a stream of single photons, or particles of light, in a controlled manner.

In components like Quantum Gates, a single photon must be able to change the direction of travel or polarization of another photon. But given the fact that photons react weakly with each other, building one such gate was almost impossible. In case, we have some atoms that can interact strongly with these photons then the first photon will interact with an atom, which in turn will interact with other atoms and affect the next photon. The second photon is then blocked till the first one passes through. Thus, the first photon affects the next one indirectly. This way we can sequence the burst of photons into a single stream of photons since only one photon is allowed to pass though in an instant.
This technique can also help you measure a photon without affecting or destroying it. It also offers new insights into the interaction between matter and light and gives way for new implementations of photon quantum logic. Using this logic we can develop the Quantum Gates effectively. Researchers are now closer to creating Quantum Computer than ever before.

Via: MIT

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