(ComputerWorld) An experimental breakthrough from researchers at the University of Sydney Nano Institute, working in collaboration with scientists at Technion Israel Institute of Technology has demonstrated a method to protect photons on a chip, which they call ‘edge modes’ that are like a haven for photons. “Once the photons are in this haven, they are protected from things that will normally perturb them, such as imperfections and defects,” lead author Dr Andrea Blanco-Redondo from Sydney Nano Institute, explained.
The ‘edge mode’ haven addresses one of the biggest challenges faced by researchers working to build quantum computers is the need to protect the states of quantum bits – or qubits – for long enough for them to be used to perform calculations. “We can now propose a pathway to build robust entangled states for logic gates using protected pairs of photons,” she said. Blanco-Redondo admits that it is “still too early to judge what will be the real impact of this work in the quantum computing field” but that it undoubtedly has promising implications. She cautioned, “Nobody knows what the winning technology for quantum computing will be, or if there will be only one or several viable routes to it.