(CosmoMagazine) Researchers from Australia, Singapore and China have developed a technology that manipulates quantum states of light at noise levels quieter than the sound of silence. The breakthrough is an important next step in the development of quantum computers.
Quantum mechanics predicts the presence of “vacuum noise” – a surprising phenomenon where silence does not equate to the complete absence of noise. The new device, developed by a team drawn from the Australian National University (ANU), Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Shanxi University, allows information to be encoded and manipulated within a quantum state to a resolution that is typically drowned out by vacuum noise.
Jayne Thompson from NUS says the level of fine control the team has achieved has many technological benefits. “From certain viewpoints, such states also appear to have temperatures below that of absolute zero and, as such, they can also act like a power resource for information processing at the quantum scale,” she says.