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How Close Is Ordinary Light to Doing Quantum Computing?

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Illustration of a molecule.

In the quantum realm, entanglement means that two particleselectrons or photons, for instancehave some property that is fundamentally related between the pair.

Credit: iStockphoto

Using mirrors to generate a light beam with multiple, classical entanglements is possible, according to researchers at China's Tsinghua University, the U.K.'s University of Southampton, and South Africa's University of Witwatersrand (WITS).

WITS' Andrew Forbes said this technique can entangle a potentially infinite number of photonic pathways, and his team demonstrated eight degrees of freedom within a single beam by changing the spacing between mirrors in the laser cavity.

Said Forbes, "Not only could we make light that took many different paths at once, but we could encode information into those paths to make it look like we were holding a high-dimensional multi-photon quantum state."

Forbes added that since quantum computing relies on particles existing in multiple states, some algorithms could be run using classically entangled light, bridging quantum and classical computers.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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