Photonic matchmaker

  May 12/19, 2008
Single photons are great for communicating quantum information because they withstand the rigors of interacting with the environment, but this quality also means they don't easily interact with each other. Typical experiments in making a pair of photons interact involve trapping and controlling single atoms to mediate the interaction. It turns out that a quantum dot attached to a photonic crystal provides the same capabilities as a trapped atom and could be more easily built into computer chips. Such chips could eventually power quantum computers and quantum communications equipment.

Research paper:
Controlled Phase Shifts with a Single Quantum Dot
Science, May 9, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab, Stanford University
Pierre Petroff

Related stories and briefs:
Light-storing chip charted
Quantum scheme lightens load
Light switch promises powerful computers
How It Works: Quantum computing: qubits

Back to TRN May 12/19, 2008

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