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Quantum Switches Made From Single Atoms

Started by stromboli, May 06, 2014, 02:16:00 AM

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"Harvard researchers have succeeded in creating quantum switches that can be turned on and off using a single photon, a technological achievement that could pave the way for creating highly secure quantum networks.

Built from single atoms, the first-of-their-kind switches could one day be networked via fiber-optic cables to form the backbone of a “quantum Internet” that allows for perfectly secure communications, said Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin, who, together with Professor Vladan Vuletic of MIT, led a team consisting of graduate students Jeff Thompson and Lee Liu and postdoctoral fellows Tobias Tiecke and Nathalie de Leon to construct the new system. Their research is detailed in a recently published paper in the journal Nature.

“From a technical standpoint, it’s a remarkable accomplishment,” Lukin said of the advance. “Conceptually, the idea is very simple: Push the conventional light switch to its ultimate limit. What we’ve done here is to use a single atom as a switch that, depending on its state, can open or close the flow of photons … and it can be turned on and off using a single photon.”

Though the switches could be used to build a quantum computer, Lukin said it’s unlikely the technology will show up in the average desktop computer.

Where it will be used, he said, is in creating fiber-optical networks that use quantum cryptography, a method for encrypting communications using the laws of quantum mechanics to allow for perfectly secure information exchanges. Such systems make it impossible to intercept and read messages sent over a network, because the very act of measuring a quantum object changes it, leaving behind telltale signs of the spying."

Well silly me, but does not making a single atom into a switch pretty much prove that atoms actually exist in a physical state? If you are building a quantum computer that operates with atom size switches doesn't that also imply that said switch has an on/off capability not unlike-as the article points out- a light switch? 

“There are other systems that are more sophisticated in terms of building a quantum computer,” Thompson said. “But the key advantage to what’s demonstrated in this paper is the single-atom switch is very tightly coupled to light, and specifically to light in optical fibers.”

I'm sorry but my non physicist logical brain equates all this to very material realities- the existence of atoms as particles, for example. And light in optical fibers? Somebody will have to explain this to me.


You've been infected with CMDS - Casparov Mental Disability Syndrome.


Quote from: josephpalazzo on May 06, 2014, 10:58:19 AM
You've been infected with CMDS - Casparov Mental Disability Syndrome.

that would explain the periodic drooling.....


 :eek: :doh: :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao: Stop it! Just stop it! My mental sides can't take it anymore. Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.


Nothing is fool proof quantum or not. There is always a way to hack and the hackers always find it. also if it is turned on (or off) by a photon who can prove where that photon came from? Who is going to put addresses on all these photons?

this raises a lot of questions from the electronic hobbyist in me.

sounds fun though.


Yeah, but look at the bright side. We are one step closer to Photon Torpedoes! PEW! PEW! PEW!


Does this mean that atoms have an "off" position?  :think: