A Step Toward the Quantum Internet

14 May 2010aPhysicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, led by Gerhard Rempe, have created a system based on a single atom that they're calling a "quantum optical transistor." The transistor could someday serve as part of a quantum computer or as a node of a quantum data network.

"We're doing what people in the Bell Laboratories did in the 1950s," says Eden Figueroa, one of the physicists involved in the project. "They were inventing the transistor, and people thought they were crazy. But 50 years later, everyone is using a laptop." Now, he says, "we're inventing the quantum transistor that may be used in computers 30 years from now."

Their process relies on a complex light manipulation technique called electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). In EIT, one beam of light controls the properties of another, much as the gate voltage controls current through a regular transistor. The researchers demonstrated EIT through the mediation of a single atom, which is a first; previously the technique was applied to hundreds of thousands of atoms in a gas.



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Posted: May 17th, 2010
at 9:45pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: computers,web,science

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