Physicists create new, simpler-than-ever quantum 'hard drive for light'

November 5, 2018 by Katie Willis, University of Alberta
Physicists create new, simpler-than-ever quantum 'hard drive for light'
Lindsay LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics and Canada Research Chair in Ultracold Gases for Quantum Simulation. Leblanc, along with colleague Erhan Saglamyurek, have created a simpler-than-ever quantum "hard drive for light.". Credit: University of Alberta

Physicists at the University of Alberta in Canada have developed a new way to build quantum memories, a method for storing delicate quantum information encoded into pulses of light.

"We've developed a new way to store pulses of —down to the single-photon level—in clouds of ultracold rubidium atoms, and to later retrieve them, on-demand, by shining a 'control' pulse of light," said Lindsay LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics and Canada Research Chair in Ultracold Gases for Quantum Simulation. LeBlanc conducted this research with postdoctoral fellow Erhan Saglamyurek.

Quantum memories are an important component of quantum networks, serving much the same role as hard drives in today's computers. And the interest in storing quantum data efficiently and effectively is only growing, with practical applications including a quantum fibre-optic internet and other methods of secure communication.

"This experiment involved taking short pulses of light, in which we could encode quantum information, storing the light in the atoms, and then retrieving the original that carries the same information," explained Saglamyurek.

The novel method developed by LeBlanc and Saglamyurek, which is best-suited for key applications requiring high-speed operation, also has considerably fewer technical requirements than required in common quantum storage techniques. "The amount of power needed, for example, is significantly lower than current options, and these reduced requirements make it easier to implement in other labs," added Saglamyurek. This discovery will allow for the crucial scaling up of technologies, which has proven the biggest challenge to date in the emerging field.

The research team also included two graduate students working in LeBlanc's lab, Taras Hrushevskyi and Anindya Rastogi, and Khabat Heshami from the National Research Council in Ottawa. The paper, "Coherent storage and manipulation of broadband photons via dynamically controlled Autler-Townes splitting," was published in Nature Photonics.

Explore further: Researchers achieve multifunctional solid-state quantum memory

More information: Erhan Saglamyurek et al, Coherent storage and manipulation of broadband photons via dynamically controlled Autler–Townes splitting, Nature Photonics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-018-0279-0

Related Stories

High-speed quantum memory for photons

September 8, 2017

Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a memory that can store photons. These quantum particles travel at the speed of light and are thus suitable for high-speed data transfer. The researchers were able to ...

Entangled LED first to operate in the telecom window

March 9, 2018

Researchers have demonstrated the first quantum light-emitting diode (LED) that emits single photons and entangled photon pairs with a wavelength of around 1550 nm, which lies within the standard telecommunications window. ...

Recommended for you

Scientists explain how wombats drop cubed poop

November 18, 2018

Wombats, the chubby and beloved, short-legged marsupials native to Australia, are central to a biological mystery in the animal kingdom: How do they produce cube-shaped poop? Patricia Yang, a postdoctoral fellow in mechanical ...

Helping Marvel superheroes to breathe

November 18, 2018

Marvel comics superheroes Ant-Man and the Wasp—nom de guerre stars of the eponymous 2018 film—possess the ability to temporarily shrink down to the size of insects, while retaining the mass and strength of their normal ...

Explaining a fastball's unexpected twist

November 18, 2018

An unexpected twist from a four-seam or a two-seam fastball can make the difference in a baseball team winning or losing the World Series. However, "some explanations regarding the different pitches are flat-out wrong," said ...

Scientists produce 3-D chemical maps of single bacteria

November 16, 2018

Scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory—have used ultrabright x-rays to image single bacteria ...

Quantum science turns social

November 15, 2018

Researchers in a lab at Aarhus University have developed a versatile remote gaming interface that allowed external experts as well as hundreds of citizen scientists all over the world to optimize a quantum gas experiment ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

holoman
not rated yet Nov 05, 2018
quantum holographic optical data storage

https://drive.goo...c06vLT90
ChickenNugget
not rated yet Nov 07, 2018
Very Nice! I look forward to the coming together of Lightning Speed Computing!!!!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.