Physicists take first step for quantum networking

Oct. 28, 2004
October 28, 2004, Atlanta, GA--A team of physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken a significant step toward the development of quantum communications systems by successfully transferring quantum information from two different groups of atoms onto a single photon.

October 28, 2004, Atlanta, GA--A team of physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken a significant step toward the development of quantum communications systems by successfully transferring quantum information from two different groups of atoms onto a single photon.

The work, reported in the October 22 issue of Science, represents a building block that could lead to development of large-scale quantum networks. Sponsored by the Research Corporation (Tucson, AZ) and NASA, the work is believed to be the first to demonstrate transfer of quantum information from matter to light.

The researchers, Assistant Professor Alex Kuzmich and graduate student Dzmitry Matsukevich - both from Georgia Tech's School of Physics - report transferring atomic state information from two different clouds of rubidium atoms to a single photon. In the photon, information about the spatial states of the atom clouds was represented as vertical or horizontal optical polarization.

"A really big issue in quantum information systems today is distributed quantum networks, and for that, you must be able to convert quantum bits of information based on matter into photons," Kuzmich said. "This is the first step, one building block. What we have done is create a quantum network node, and now the next step is to create a second quantum network node and connect them."

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