Chinese researchers have just managed to pack 18 qubits, which are the fundamental units of a quantum computer, in only six photons. The peculiarity of this achievement is the qubits-to-photons ration which is 3 to 1, something that has never been achieved before. Also, that is the record for the number of qubits linked through quantum entanglement.
Until now, every device we use daily, including computer, smartphones, tablets, or whatever, uses calculations based on bits which change their stance dependent on two stands, 1 and 0, describing a binary system.
On the other hand, a quantum computer would use qubits, nothing else than “quantum bits,” which shift their stances between 1 and 0, similarly to regular computers, only that they obey to the quantum physics rules. That gives them superior behaviors such as the possibility that one qubit can be both 1 and 0 at the same time, something impossible in a regular binary system.
Chinese scientists achieved a quantum entanglement of 18 qubits packed in only six photons
The Chinese researchers’ breakthrough is nothing more than linking many qubits into very few particles – photons in this case, according to Sydney Schreppler, a quantum physicist at the University Of California – Berkeley.
“If the goal is to make 18, the way groups would have done that in the past is to make 18 entangled particles with one qubit each. It’s going to be a slow process,” Sydney Schreppler said.
This achievement was possible because the Chinese scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) took advantage of the “multiple degrees of freedom,” characterizing the photons as particles, as the researchers themselves said in the study’s report released in late-June in the Physical Review Letters journal.
According to Schreppler, the USTC scientists’ breakthrough doesn’t mean the other experiments trying to pull off a viable quantum computer will commence using more degrees of freedom at a time. However, she said, the quantum entanglement the Chinese achieved using photons will be more useful in the future quantum networking.