Engineers developed a new photonic chip to process quantum information, paving the way towards a scalable quantum computer. The science team headed by RMIT University’s Dr. Alberto Peruzzo managed to demonstrate that quantum information can be encoded, processed and transferred with the topological circuits of the newly invented processor.
The new achievement might open the road to the production of new materials for the next-gen computers. After collaborating with Politecnico di Milano and ETH Zurich, the scientists used topological photonics to develop a chip with a “beamsplitter” to produce a photonic quantum gate.
“We anticipate that the new chip design will open the way to studying quantum effects in topological materials and to a new area of topologically robust quantum processing in integrated photonics technology,” explained Dr. Peruzzo, the Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T).
The new photonic chip paves the way to the future quantum computer
“Topological photonics have the advantage of not requiring strong magnetic fields and feature high-coherence, room-temperature operation, and easy manipulation intrinsically. These are essential requirements for the scaling-up of quantum computers,” added Peruzzo.
By reproducing the Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) experiment (which takes two photons and interfere on them under the laws of quantum mechanics), the scientists were capable of proving, for the first time in the world, that topological states can support hi-fi quantum interference.
“Previous research had focussed on topological photonics using ‘classical’ laser light, which behaves as a classical wave. Here we use single photons, which behave according to quantum mechanics” explained Jean-Luc Tambasco, a Ph.D. student at RMIT, and the study’s leading author.
High-fidelity quantum interference is the first step towards transmitting accurate data using single photons for quantum communications that is the fundamental structure of the future quantum network. Also, this breakthrough paves the way towards a scalable quantum computer.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.