Combining 6 photons together results in highly robust quantum information

October 6th, 2009 - 5:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, October 6 (ANI): In a new research, a team of physicists in Sweden and Poland has found that combining 6 photons together can result in highly robust qubits, or quantum information.

Exploiting quantum mechanics for transmitting information is a tantalizing possibility because it promises secure, high-speed communications.

Unfortunately, the fragility of methods for storing and sending quantum information has so far frustrated the enterprise.

Now, a team of physicists in Sweden and Poland has shown that photons that encode data have strength in numbers.

In classical communications, a bit can represent one of two states - either 0 or 1. But because photons are quantum mechanical objects, they can exist in multiple states at the same time.

Photons can also be combined, in a process known as entanglement, to store a bit of quantum information (that is, a qubit).

Unlike data stored in a computer or typically sent through conventional fiber optic cables, however, qubits are extremely fragile.

A kink in a cable, the properties of the cable material, or even changes in temperature can corrupt a qubit and destroy the information it carries.

But now, a group lead by Magnus Radmark at Stockholm University has shown that six entangled photons can encode information that stands up to some knocking around.

Radmark and his team proved experimentally that their six photon qubits are robust and should be able to reliably carry information over long distances.

The technology to encode useful information on the qubits and subsequently read it back is still lacking, but once those problems are solved, we will be well on our way to secure, reliable, and speedy quantum communication. (ANI)

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