The microprocessor inside a computer is a single multipurpose chip that has revolutionised people’s life, allowing them to use one machine to surf the web, check emails and keep track of finances.
Now, researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in Japan, have pulled off the same feat for light in the quantum world by developing an optical chip that can process photons in an infinite number of ways.
It’s a major step forward in creating a quantum computer to solve problems such as designing new drugs, superfast database searches, and performing otherwise intractable mathematics that aren’t possible for super computers.
The fully reprogrammable chip brings together a multitude of existing quantum experiments and can realise a plethora of future protocols that have not even been conceived yet, marking a new era of research for quantum scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of quantum technologies. The work is published in the journal Science on 14 August.
Since before Newton held a prism to a ray of sunlight and saw a spectrum of colour, scientists have understood nature through the behaviour of light. In the modern age of research, scientists are striving to understand nature at the quantum level and to engineer and control quantum states of light and matter.
A major barrier in testing new theories for quantum science and quantum computing is the time and resources needed to build new experiments, which are typically extremely demanding due to the notoriously fragile nature of quantum systems.
This result shows a step change for experiments with photons, and what the future looks like for quantum technologies.
Dr Anthony Laing, who led the project, said: “A whole field of research has essentially been put onto a single optical chip that is easily controlled. The implications of the work go beyond the huge resource savings. Now anybody can run their own experiments with photons, much like they operate any other piece of software on a computer. They no longer need to convince a physicist to devote many months of their life to painstakingly build and conduct a new experiment.”
The team demonstrated the chip’s unique capabilities by re-programming it to rapidly perform a number of different experiments, each of which would previously have taken many months to build.
Bristol PhD student Jacques Carolan, one of the researchers, added: “Once we wrote the code for each circuit, it took seconds to re-programme the chip, and milliseconds for the chip to switch to the new experiment. We carried out a year’s worth of experiments in a matter of hours. What we’re really excited about is using these chips to discover new science that we haven’t even thought of yet.”
The Latest on: Quantum optics lab-on-a-chip
via Google News
The Latest on: Quantum optics lab-on-a-chip
- Complex Light and Optical Forces XIVon July 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm
These studies also link significantly into other fields including optical trapping, lab-on-a-chip fluidics, microrheology, and cold atoms. Increasing interest in quantum information has also led to ...
- Photoelectrical imaging and coherent spin-state readout of single nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamondon April 4, 2019 at 5:00 pm
1 Institute for Quantum Optics and IQST, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, D-89081 Ulm, Germany. 2 Corporate Research and Technology, Carl Zeiss AG, Carl-Zeiss-Strasse 22, 73447 Oberkochen, ...
- Optical nanoantennas set the stage for a NEMS lab-on-a-chip revolutionon February 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm
"Unidirectional nanoantennas induce directionality to any omnidirectional light emitters like microlasers, nanolasers or spasers, and even quantum ... optics-based biosensors to detect proteins, DNA, ...
- Asia’s Scientific Trailblazers: Urbasi Sinhaon November 27, 2018 at 2:58 am
For her contributions to her field of quantum optics, Sinha received the ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award from the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and the International Center for Theoretical ...
- Chemical treatment improves quantum dot laserson October 16, 2017 at 11:55 am
By adding extra charge carriers to their quantum dots, the Los Alamos researchers ... designs for applications ranging from fiber optics and large-scale lasing arrays to laser lighting and ...
- Chip Simplifies Quantum Optics Experimentson August 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm
A silicon-based quantum optics lab-on-a-chip. Courtesy of the University of Bristol. The system consists of a cascade of 15 Mach-Zehnder interferometers with 30 thermo-optic phase shifters and 12 ...
- Major step forward in quantum computing taken with optical chipon August 14, 2015 at 4:06 am
The quantum optics lab-on-a-chip A University of Bristol press release says that its fully reprogrammable chip brings together previous quantum experiments and will be able to "realise a plethora of ...
- New optical chip lights up the race for quantum computeron August 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm
This is the silicon based quantum optics lab-on-a-chip. (Image: University of Bristol) It's a major step forward in creating a quantum computer to solve problems such as designing new drugs, superfast ...
- CLEO: 2013 - the Premier International Laser and Electro-Optics Event - to Take Place in San Jose Next Weekon June 3, 2013 at 5:09 am
CLEO: 2013 offers high-quality content in five core event elements featuring breakthrough research and applied innovations in ultrafast lasers, energy-efficient optics, quantum electronics ... USA ...
via Bing News