World's shortest single photon pulse created

Apr 10, 2008
A light beam split through a prism
A light beam split through a prism

The world’s shortest light pulse containing just one photon has been produced by Oxford University scientists.

The Oxford team can create individual photons that are 65 femtoseconds in duration: that’s approximately fifty times shorter than any single photon previously produced.

And every photon this source produces is identical to the previous one. Such photons could be a major breakthrough in quantum computing: the harnessing of quantum effects to perform calculations that would take conventional computers thousands of years to resolve.

‘Creating single photons even under controlled conditions is extremely challenging,’ said Peter Mosley of Oxford’s Department of Physics. ‘Even the purest laser light beam consists of many photons all bunched together. Our approach enables us to generate individual photon replicas, identical packets of light of very short duration that are ideal for quantum computing.’

Peter Mosley, a member of Oxford’s Ultrafast Group, is a co-author of a report of the research in this week’s Physical Review Letters.

Source: Oxford University

Explore further: Watching the structure of glass under pressure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology

2 hours ago

One of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons (electronic circuits). First, it is necessary to create ...

Recommended for you

Watching the structure of glass under pressure

14 hours ago

Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments. Glassmakers commonly use additives such as boron oxide to tweak these ...

Inter-dependent networks stress test

17 hours ago

Energy production systems are good examples of complex systems. Their infrastructure equipment requires ancillary sub-systems structured like a network—including water for cooling, transport to supply fuel, and ICT systems ...

Explainer: How does our sun shine?

18 hours ago

What makes our sun shine has been a mystery for most of human history. Given our sun is a star and stars are suns, explaining the source of the sun's energy would help us understand why stars shine. ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

agg
4 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2008
I wonder if they have any idea what the
momentum of the photon is.
Star_Gazer
4 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2008
I can't wait for true multi-quibits computing!