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 Physicists build first single-photon router

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Date posted: 23/08/2011

By demonstrating that an artificial atom embedded in a transmission line can route a single photon from an input port to one of two output ports, physicists have built the first router working at the single-photon level. The single-photon router could one day serve as a quantum node in a quantum information network, in which it could provide basic processing and routing of data.

The scientists, led by Per Delsing and Chris Wilson from the Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, with coauthors from there and the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, Spain, have published their study in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.

As the scientists explain, controlling and directing photons is more difficult than controlling and directing electrons, which are used in most of today’s routers. The difficulty stems from the fact that, unlike electrons, photons do not strongly interact with each other. However, one of the important requirements of a quantum channel is the ability to distribute information over large distances. Since photons can coherently travel much further distances than other quantum systems such as atoms, it makes sense to use photons as the information carriers in quantum information networks.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com

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