Physicists at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at Waterloo University have developed a new technology that allows one photon of light to be split into three separate photons. This technology is based on the SPDC (spontaneous parametric down-conversion) method, which allows one to obtain what is called a non-Gaussian state of light in quantum optics, which is considered one of the main components necessary to achieve quantum superiority.
“The technology of splitting a photon into two has been the “workhorse” of research in the field of quantum mechanics for more than 30 years”, says Chris Wilson, professor and lead researcher, “The possibility of splitting one photon into three forms the basis of completely new paradigms. quantum optics and opens up a whole new field of research”.
To circumvent the known limitations of the SPDC method, scientists used microwave photons (microwave quanta) that fell into the cavity of a special superconducting parametric resonator. The resulting three photons at the output are almost identical in all basic parameters, and in the very near future, scientists plan to test for the existence of quantum entanglement between all three photons.
“The non-Gaussian state of light and the operations performed with it are a key component for achieving quantum superiority”, says Professor Wilson. “All this is very difficult to model on classical computing systems, resulting in an insufficient number of theoretical and practical work in this area. And we hope that our achievement will move this whole area from a dead point”.
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