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Tag archives: quantum computers

Listen to our latest podcast about quantum computing

By Hamish Johnston

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is speaking to physicists about their research. A while ago I had the pleasure of talking to five physicists who are passionate about quantum computing. Four are academics: John Martinis of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Raymond Laflamme of the University of Waterloo in Canada; John Preskill of the California Institute of Technology; and Charles Marcus of the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark. The fifth physicist is Geordie Rose, who is the co-founder of a company that says it has built a quantum computer.

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A new way to store single photons

UCSB

Schematic diagram of part of the superconducting chip used by Martinis and colleagues. (Courtesy: UCSB)

By Hamish Johnston

A month ago I wrote about a way of storing a handful of photons in an atomic gas, where the interactions between them can be controlled – a result that could benefit physicists trying to build quantum computers.

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Super single-photon source

Artist's impression of the single-photon source in action. (Courtesy: C Lu).

Artist’s impression of the single-photon source in action. (Courtesy: C Lu)

By Hamish Johnston

One requirement for many quantum-computing schemes is a device that can deliver a succession of single particles such as photons on demand. This has proven to be a challenge because in the quantum world probability reigns, so you can never be certain what will pop out of your device. Another challenging requirement is that these particles must be indistinguishable from each other.

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