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Potentially Bringing Quantum Optics to Computer Chips

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 05:52AM

While the possibility of quantum computers can grab headlines, there are more quantum technologies than that, and some can even be used today. Quantum encryption leverages quantum mechanics to transmit information securely using photons, but creating these photons is a little tricky. Doing so requires the generation of entangled photon pairs, which normally have the polarization of the original light source, but now researchers have developed a device to create cross-polarized pairs, as reported by The Optical Society's.

Normally cross-polarized photon pairs would be created using a classical mechanics process, which is a problem for quantum technologies, as quantum phenomena would be destroyed. Specifically, the entanglement between the photons would be undone. This new device gets around that by using a micro-ring resonator that exploits energy conservation. This suppresses the classical effects involved and actually amplifies the quantum processes.

Thanks to the small size of the device, under one square millimeter in area, we could see the generation of cross-polarized, entangled photon pairs be integrated into modern computer chips. The device can already be fabricated with processes compatible with those that make computer chips.

Source: The Optical Society

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