Press Esc to close

Quantum computers a step closer to reality

Melbourne, Sep 28, 2016 (PTI) 18:16 IST
 Quantum computers. File Photo for representation.
Physicists have brought quantum computers - which could solve problems too complex for today's most advanced machines - a step closer to reality by successfully stopping light in a new experiment.

Lead researcher Jesse Everett from Australian National University (ANU) said controlling the movement of light was critical to developing future quantum computers.

"Optical quantum computing is still a long way off, but our successful experiment to stop light gets us further along the road," said Everett.

He said quantum computers based on particles of light - photons - could connect easily with communication technology such as optic fibres and have potential applications in fields such as medicine, defence, telecommunications and financial services.

The research team's experiment - which created a light trap by shining infrared lasers into ultra-cold atomic vapour - was inspired by Everett's discovery of the potential to stop light in a computer simulation.

"It's clear that the light is trapped, there are photons circulating around the atoms," Everett said.

"The atoms absorbed some of the trapped light, but a substantial proportion of the photons were frozen inside the atomic cloud," he said.

Everett likened the team's experiment to a scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens when the character Kylo Ren used the Force to stop a laser blast mid-air.

"It's pretty amazing to look at a sci-fi movie and say we actually did something that's a bit like that," he said.

Associate Professor Ben Buchler, who leads the ANU research team, said the light-trap experiment demonstrated incredible control of a very complex system.

"Our method allows us to manipulate the interaction of light and atoms with great precision," said Buchler.

Co-researcher Geoff Campbell from ANU said photons mostly passed by each other at the speed of light without any interactions, while atoms interacted with each other readily.

"Corralling a crowd of photons in a cloud of ultra-cold atoms creates more opportunities for them to interact," said Campbell.

"We're working towards a single photon changing the phase of a second photon. We could use that process to make a quantum logic gate, the building block of a quantum computer," he said.The research was published in the journal Nature Physics.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
CPI(M) workers chant slogans at a protest rally outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday...

CPI(M) workers chant slogans at a protest rally outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday...

Woman teachers pose with Diwali greeting messages at a school in Moradabad on Tuesday...

Woman teachers pose with Diwali greeting messages at a school in Moradabad on Tuesday...

A girl buying decorative items in a market on the occasion of Dhanteras festival in Bhopal on ...

A girl buying decorative items in a market on the occasion of Dhanteras festival in Bhopal on ...

Vendors show lanterns to customers at a roadside market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in ...

Vendors show lanterns to customers at a roadside market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in ...

BJP National President Amit Shah and BJP Kerala state president Kummanam Rajasekharan wave to the ..

BJP National President Amit Shah and BJP Kerala state president Kummanam Rajasekharan wave to the ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.