Scientists open doors to the future: photonic chips simulate quantum systems at room temperature
Light is not only a source of energy, but also a powerful tool for quantum computing.
Scientists at the University of Rochester have made a breakthrough in quantum simulation by creating a miniature system-on-a-chip that uses a controlled frequency of photons to simulate complex natural processes at the quantum level. The discovery not only reduces the physical size and resource requirements inherent in traditional methods, but also opens the way to the creation of a synthetic crystal with quantum correlation.
The experiment could be the impetus for the development of more complex and accurate simulations in the future, accelerating progress in quantum science and technology.
Quantum simulators are devices that can simulate the behavior of complex quantum systems such as atoms, molecules, or superconductors. They can help scientists study the fundamental laws of nature and develop new materials, medicines and energy sources.
However, the creation of quantum simulators is a great technical challenge, since they require control over a large number of quantum particles and keeping them in an isolated state from external influences. Most existing quantum simulators are based on superconducting circuits or ion traps, which operate at very low temperatures and require sophisticated equipment.
The new approach proposed by the scientists uses photonic chips – microscopic circuits that can generate, manipulate and detect light. Photonic chips have a number of advantages over other quantum computing platforms: they can operate at room temperature, they integrate easily with optical fibers, and they can process large amounts of information.
Scientists have shown that photonic chips can simulate the dynamics of spin systems, one of the most important classes of quantum systems that have applications in magnetism, condensed matter, and high-energy physics. They used two photonic chips connected by an optical fiber to create a two-dimensional lattice of 16 spins. Then they applied laser pulses to the chips, which changed the states of the spins and caused them to interact with each other. By measuring the light output from the chips, they could observe the evolution of the spin system over time.
The results of the experiment were published in the journal nature physics. The scientists said this is the first example of a quantum simulation on photonic chips that achieves such a high level of sophistication and accuracy. They also noted that their method can be scaled to large sizes and used to simulate other types of quantum systems.