Researchers Demonstrate a Photonic Router for the First Time
Science & Technology

Scientists Demonstrate a Photonic Router for the First Time

Illustration of the photonic router the Weizmann Institute scientists created. At the middle is the single atom (orange) that routes photons (yellow) in numerous instructions.

Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science have taken one other step ahead towards constructing quantum computer systems, demonstrating a photonic router for the first time.

Weizmann Institute scientists have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router – a quantum system primarily based on a single atom that permits routing of single photons by single photons. This achievement, as reported in Science magazine, is one other step towards overcoming the difficulties in constructing quantum computer systems.

At the core of the system is an atom that may change between two states. The state is about simply by sending a single particle of sunshine – or photon – from the proper or the left through an optical fiber. The atom, in response, then displays or transmits the subsequent incoming photon, accordingly. For instance, in a single state, a photon coming from the proper continues on its path to the left, whereas a photon coming from the left is mirrored backwards, inflicting the atomic state to flip. On this reversed state, the atom lets photons coming from the left proceed in the identical path, whereas any photon coming from the proper is mirrored backwards, flipping the atomic state again once more. This atom-based change is solely operated by single photons – no extra exterior fields are required.

“In a sense, the system acts as the photonic equal to digital transistors, which change electrical currents in response to different electrical currents,” says Dr. Barak Dayan, head of the Weizmann Institute’s Quantum Optics group, together with Itay Shomroni, Serge Rosenblum, Yulia Lovsky, Orel Bechler and Gabriel Guendleman of the Chemical Physics Division in the School of Chemistry. The photons should not solely the models comprising the move of data, but in addition the ones that management the system.

This achievement was made doable by the mixture of two state-of-the-art applied sciences. One is the laser cooling and trapping of atoms. The opposite is the fabrication of chip-based, ultra-high high quality miniature optical resonators that couple on to the optical fibers. Dayan’s lab at the Weizmann Institute is considered one of a handful worldwide that has mastered each these applied sciences.

The principle motivation behind the effort to develop quantum computer systems is the quantum phenomenon of superposition, by which particles can exist in lots of states directly, probably having the ability to course of enormous quantities of information in parallel. But superposition can solely final so long as nothing observes or measures the system in any other case it collapses to a single state. Subsequently, photons are the most promising candidates for communication between quantum programs as they don’t work together with one another in any respect, and work together very weakly with different particles.

Dayan: “The highway to constructing quantum computer systems continues to be very lengthy, however the system we constructed demonstrates a easy and strong system, which must be relevant to any future structure of such computer systems. In the present demonstration a single atom capabilities as a transistor – or a two-way change – for photons, however in our future experiments, we hope to increase the sorts of units that work solely on photons, for instance new sorts of quantum reminiscence or logic gates.”

Publication: Itay Shomroni, et al., “All-optical routing of single photons by a one-atom change managed by a single photon,” Science, 2014; DOI: 10.1126/science.1254699

PDF Copy of the Research: All-Optical Routing of Single Photons by a One-Atom Switch Controlled by a Single Photon

Picture: Weizmann Institute

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