Caltech researchers chain atoms in leap toward quantum internet
(Slashgear) Josh Hopkins of SlashGear discusses a recent study published in Nature by a group of Caltech engineers at who explained how they chained atoms together and believe the practice can create quantum storage. The authors of the study believe the new approach could even help develop large-scale quantum networks sometime in the future.
Andrei Faraon, professor of applied physics and electrical engineering, led the research. During the study, the engineers embedded an ion of ytterbium (Yb) into yytrium orthovanadate (YV04), a transparent crystal. Altogether, the team used quantum bit – also knows as a qubit – of YB in the crystal. This acted as the central control piece of several vanadium atoms situated around the ion. The researchers were then able to control the nuclear spin states of the atoms using the Yb qubit.
Faraon says that they already knew yyterbium ions were excellent components for quantum networks thanks to prior research the team had done. To enable quantum storage, though, Faraon notes that the team had to figure out how to link the atoms together. The researchers built the machine at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech. They then tested it in Faraon’s lab at very low temperatures with impressive results. By demonstrating that this technique works, Faraon and his team have provided a foundation to continue building towards quantum networking.
The paper is also available via Caltech’s website.