Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:55 AM EDT

Study Shows an Increase in the Efficiency of Quantum Memory

May 02, 2019 08:03 AM EDT

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The relative importance of quantum memory components for a quantum computer has the same degree as memory in conventional computers. Quantum computers belong to data processors that apply quantum mechanics with the capacity to overcome the boundaries of classical computers. Quantum computers have the potential to enhance forecast accuracy, explain cosmological mysteries, create new drugs. The faster speed and greater power of quantum computers compared to traditional counterparts are consequences of information computed in qubits. Qubits can simultaneously represent zero and one unlike the bits used in classical computers.

Flying single-photon quantum states can be stored and retrieved through photonic quantum memory. This memory production is limited because it needs a perfectly matched photon-matter quantum interface. Another concern is the weak energy of a single photon that makes the photon to dissipate in the stray light background. The efficiency of quantum memory is reduced to below 50 percent of these issues.

"Now, for the first time, a joint research team led by Prof. Du Shengwang from HKUST, Prof. Zhang Shanchao from SCNU, Prof. Yan Hui from SCNU and Prof. Zhu Shi-Liang from SCNU and Nanjing University has found a way to boost the efficiency of photonic quantum memory to over 85 percent with a fidelity of over 99 percent," according to Phys.

Billions of rubidium atoms were trapped to create a quantum memory. Lasers and a magnetic field were used to cool down atoms to nearly absolute zero. The scientists were able to discover a single photon from the noisy background light. With these discoveries, there is the potential to create a new generation of quantum-based internet.

"In this work, we code a flying qubit onto the polarization of a single photon and store it into the laser-cooled atoms," said Prof Du. "Although the quantum memory demonstrated in this work is only for one qubit operation, it opens the possibility for emerging quantum technology and engineering in the future."

Their study was published in the journal Nature Photonics.

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