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News & Highlights

Research Highlights

Published: Mon, 09/18/2017 - 9:15am

Quantum computers require systems that can encode, manipulate, and transmit quantum bits, or qubits. A creative way to accomplish all this was recently demonstrated by Adam Reed and his colleagues in the Lehnert group. The researchers converted propagating qubits (encoded as superpositions1 of zero and one microwave photons) into the motion of a tiny aluminum drum. The successful conversion is considered a key step in using a mechanical drum to (1) transfer quantum information between microwave and optical frequencies or (2) store quantum information inside a quantum computer.

“We wanted to ask whether these electromechanical devices could manipulate fragile signals that encode quantum information,” Reed explained. “We’re trying to determine how suitable this device is for quantum information applications.”

And the answer is: The Lehnert group is getting there. When the researchers measure how the state encoded in the drum’s motion compares with the original propagating qubits, they find that the fidelity is about 80% for any qubit state they convert, which is not too bad for a brand...

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