London, October 16 : American researchers have developed the first tunable "noiseless" amplifier, which can boost the speed and precision of quantum computing and communications systems.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder, say that the amplifier works by significantly reducing the uncertainty in delicate measurements of microwave signals.
Conventional amplifiers add unwanted "noise", or random fluctuations, when they measure and boost electromagnetic signals.
Though amplifiers that theoretically add no noise have been demonstrated before, the new technology offers better performance.
JILA group leader Konrad Lehnert claims that their amplifier is the first to be tunable, operating between four and eight gigahertz.
Lehnert even says that the new amplifier can boost signals sufficiently to overcome noise generated by the next amplifier in a series along a signal path, a valuable feature for building practical systems.
According to the team, this amplifier can enable faster and more precise measurements in certain types of quantum computers, which can solve some of the problems that are presently considered to be intractable.
An article on the new technology has been published in the journal Nature Physics.