Shining a Light on Quantum Bits

January 31, 2019

Credit: Denis Sukachev

In the world of quantum computing, interaction is everything. For computers to work at all, bits — the ones and zeros that make up digital information — must be able to interact and hand off data for processing. The same goes for the quantum bits, or qubits, that make up quantum computers.

But that interaction creates a problem — in any system in which qubits interact with each other, they also tend to want to interact with their environment, resulting in qubits that quickly lose their quantum nature.

To get around the problem, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. student Ruffin Evans turned to particles mostly known for their lack of interactions — photons.

Working in the lab of Mikhail Lukin, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics and co-director of the Quantum Science and Engineering Initiative, Evans is lead author of a study, described in the journal Science, that demonstrates a method for engineering an interaction between two qubits using photons...

Continue reading "Shining a light on quantum bits" by Peter Reuell in The Harvard Gazette, November 30, 2018.

Also read the original report in Science: R. E. Evans, M. K. Bhaskar, D. D. Sukachev1, C. T. Nguyen, A. Sipahigil, M. J. Burek, B. Machielse, G. H. Zhang, A. S. Zibrov, E. Bielejec, H. Park, M. Lončar, and M. D. Lukin, "Photon-mediated interactions between quantum emitters in a diamond nanocavity," Science 362 (Nov 2018) DOI: 10.1126/science.aau4691.