A new study from Yale University shows that scientists can create and control a large quantum mechanical system built on photons, suggesting that they might be able to expand the role of photons in quantum information systems. Light might be able to play a bigger, more versatile role in the future of quantum computing, according to new research by Yale University scientists.
A team of Yale physicists has coaxed an unprecedented number of light particles, or photons, to behave quantum mechanically, or to assume more than one state simultaneously, such as “alive” and “dead.” In this case, the light is in the form of trapped microwave photons. Control over a greater number of photons — more than 100 in this case — raises the possibility that such states of light could play the part of several quantum bits (qubits), the building blocks typically found in a quantum computer. This could potentially minimize the physical scale and cost of building one.
The quantum computer, a still embryonic technology, would be a hyper-fast tool with exponentially faster information processing than today’s most sophisticated computers.