Polaritons Possible Answer to Quantum Computing Dilemma

With new approaches to quantum computing happening all the time, scientists at the University of Chicago may have an answer using light

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New Discovery

A new —  and what many in the industry are calling revolutionary — discovery in quantum physics was published in July in the British journal Nature by physicists at the University of Chicago.

Creating light from hybrid particles from photons and atoms, they managed to manipulate light that actually behaves like matter. The findings— which the team of scientists has been working on for yearscould potentially develop unhackable quantum communications systems, drive up computational speed and solidify encryption solutions in the future.

Polaritons

They achieved this impressive feat by changing the fingerprint of the particle by controlling the electrons surrounding it, which in turn changed its quantum behaviour, too. These hybrid particles are technically known as polaritons. Uniquely, they possess the qualities of light and atomic particles at the same time. This permits them to travel rapidly through space without being impeded. This molecular-level manipulation is impressive, but again only one of the many approaches to quantum mechanics that will hopefully improve current quantum architectural systems.

‘In order to make photons collide with one another, we use atoms as a go-between.’

— Logan Clark, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.

Way Forward Established

The findings have put in progress the team’s ultimate goal: to exploit the colliding photons to create fluids of light and a topological-based modality for quantum architectural systems.

Whether they achieve this or not is open to debate, yet what it does establish is creating an environment of discovery in quantum systems that, though digressing in approach and application from the more popular approaches in quantum computing research, will hopefully lead to something great in the coming years.