Physicists construct quantum toy houses

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Washington, Feb 15 (ANI): A team of physicists from the University of Calgary (U of C) in Canada has manipulated a mysterious property of light to stack together a variety of quantum states of light, or two-storied quantum toy houses of any style and architecture.

By manipulating a mysterious quantum property of light known as entanglement, the physicists were able to mount up to two photons on top of one another to construct the varying quantum toy houses.

"This ability to prepare or control complex quantum objects is considered the holy grail of quantum science", said Andrew MacRae, a co-author of the research paper. "It brings us closer to the onset of the new era of quantum information technology," he added.

This new generation of technology is expected to endow us with qualitatively new capabilities.

This includes measurement instruments of extraordinary sensitivity, dramatically faster computers, secure communication systems and enhanced control over chemical reactions.

"Light is a particularly interesting quantum object because it's an excellent communication tool. No matter what future quantum computers will be made of, they'll talk to each other using photons," said research paper author Alexander Lvovsky, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

U of C researchers used mirrors and lenses to focus a blue laser beam into a specialized crystal.

This crystal takes high energy blue photons and converts them into a quantum superposition of lower energy red photons, which emerge in two directions, or 'channels'.

By measuring one of the channels using ultra-sensitive single photon detectors, the physicists prepare the desired quantum state in the other.

Such an operation is possible because the photons in the two channels are entangled.

A measurement made in one channel would result in an immediate change in the other, regardless of whether the particles were an arm's length apart or light years away.

Albert Einstein called this quantum weirdness "spooky action at a distance."

"Quantum light is like an ocean and it's full of mysteries and treasures. Our task is to conquer it. But so far, physicists were able to control only a tiny island in this ocean. What we have done is to make this island bigger," said Lvovsky. (ANI)

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