(InterestingEngineering) For the first time, the Army and the University of Maryland researchers demonstrated that two-photon interference between photons from a trapped ion system and a neutral atom system is possible. Moreover, it may assist in speeding up the process towards quantum computers of the future.
“Trapped ions have the highest fidelity quantum operations reported and neutral atoms are excellent at manipulating photons that carry quantum information,” explained Dr. Qudsia Sara Quraishi, a physicist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory.
A two-photon interference, also known as the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect, happens when two identical photons enter a beam splitter from different input ports, however, they exit via the same port.
By working with trapped ion systems as well as neutral atom systems, future quantum networks will benefit from both leading approaches and their strengths, while overcoming individual weaknesses, as per the researchers.

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