Another step towards quantum computers

Prem Kumar, a professor of mechanics and computer science at Northwestern University, has evolved toward making quantum computing more realistic.Kumar and his colleagues have revealed that they can assemble a quantum logic gate–a basic part of a quantum computer–within an optical fiber.The gate could be a fraction of a track that conveys information securely, more than hundreds of kilometers of fiber, from one quantum computer to another.It could also be used on its own to locate explanations of complex mathematical problems.

A logic gate is a tool that accepts an input, carries out a logic operation on it, and creates an output.The new gate gives a base for researches that reveal the capacities of quantum computers in fiber, says Kumar.

Researchers at IBM, MIT, and many other companies and universities have been working on quantum computers since they were first projected in the 1980s. A quantum computer is a device that processes small pieces of information by utilizing the odd quantum-mechanical properties of constituent parts such as electrons and photons.A quantum computer is supposedly able to work exponentially more information than usual computers can.

Kumar’s group builds qubits out of quantum of electromagnetic radiations that are “entwined.”That means that their objective characteristics, such as division, are linked in such a way that if one photon supposes a particular physical state, the matching photon instantly assumes an equivalent state.

To use this gate, Kumar needs photons that are matching in every way except division, or the course of their electromagnetic fields.These “matching” photons are propelled through optical fiber to the gate itself, a small network of devices that route photons in different directions depending on their division.

The only way to identify whether or not the gate worked is to wait until an assortment of photons has been fired at it, stated by Carl Williams, coordinator of the quantum information program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.”Most of the time the gate fails,” he says.”It’s a probabilistic thing.” But when the gate fails, the researchers simply ignore the unentangled photons.

“This is a significant step to build a quantum Internet,” says Seth Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and a leading researcher in quantum computation.”Such a system would have powers that the normal Internet does not,” he says.”In particular, communication over the quantum Internet would be automatically secure.”

Lloyd remarks that Kumar’s paper demonstrates how a simple quantum logic procedure can be performed using individual photons.”The current paper signifies an important advance in the technology of quantum computation and quantum networks,” he says.

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