Quantum Entanglement of Photons Sets New Records

Recently, Nature published research results from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany. The researchers succeeded in using 14 photons to create quantum entanglement. In this study, the number of photons involved in quantum entanglement is more than double that of previous studies and improves it into a state considered optimal for qubits.

 Image Credit to Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics on Science Alert

 Photons make ideal qubits. Practical quantum computers require many qubits, thousands or even millions, and the more they are, the better, and they create quantum entanglement according to specific needs.

 Physical experiments using quantum dots have entangled three to four photons. But this approach is unlikely to produce the hundreds and thousands needed for a quantum computer, the state of entanglement using this approach isn’t as reliable as engineers might like.

 More recent studies using atoms with large electron orbitals have produced up to six entangled photons, all in an efficiently entangled form. But it isn’t an easily scalable option either.

 In the latest published experiment, rubidium was tickled into emitting light waves, which were then channeled into a cavity shaped to reflect them back and forth precisely. Every photon glowed in this way can be entangled with the entire atom’s state.

 Because the chain of photons emerged from a single atom, it could be produced deterministically.

 These 14 interconnected light particles are the largest number of entangled photons ever generated in a laboratory. Not only were they able to entangle so many photons, but it is also more efficient than the previous processes, with nearly one out of every two photons providing neatly entangled qubits.

 Future research will introduce a second atom to provide more qubits for quantum computing operations. In addition, self-entangled photons can provide the foundation for technology beyond computing, especially in quantum encrypted communications.

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