Science 2 min read

World First: Scientists use Sound to Entangle Two Quantum Bits

Quantum mechanics is one of the most exciting areas of research in our time. Now, by using sound to entangle quantum bits, scientists may have found another way to improve our communication systems.

Image courtesy of nancy Wong / University of Chicago

Image courtesy of nancy Wong / University of Chicago

Scientists from the University of Chicago‘s Institute of Molecular Engineering have reportedly used sound to entangle two quantum bits for the first time. Not only that, but they were also able to build the “highest-quality long-range link between two qubits to date.”

According to Andrew Cleland, a co-author of the two studies published in the journals Nature Physics and Science, both breakthroughs offer transformative steps that could usher quantum communications forward. He said:

“One of these experiments shows the precision and accuracy we can now achieve, and the other demonstrates a fundamental new ability for these qubits.”

To date, researchers believe that quantum technology is the key to revolutionizing how data is stored and transmitted in the real world. It makes use of the unique properties of the world’s tiniest particles to manipulate and transfer information.

For instance, the quantum entanglement phenomenon allows two particles to be entangled even if they are not physically connected, but under specific conditions. Entangling quantum particles have many real-world applications and can be used to create virtually unhackable networks and transmit information to space in seconds.

Entangling Quantum Bits

According to Cleland, quantum technology has a long way to go. Apparently, their ground-breaking discoveries are just small steps toward their goal of sending quantum information regardless of how long or short the distance is.

In their first study, Cleland reported that they were able to build a system using superconducting qubits that exchange information with extreme fidelity along a nearly one-meter long track. Youpeng Zhong, a graduate student working in Cleland’s lab and the first author of the study, said:

“The coupling was so strong that we can demonstrate a quantum phenomenon called ‘quantum ping-pong’—sending and then catching individual photons as they bounce back.”

The team’s second study described how they used sound to entangle two superconducting quantum bits. The researchers reportedly built a system that can translate the microwave language of qubits into acoustic sound and send them across a chip. Audrey Bienfait, a co-author of the paper, explained:

“Microwaves and acoustics are not friends, so we had to separate them into two different materials and stack those on top of each other. But now that we’ve shown it is possible, it opens some interesting new possibilities for quantum sensors.”

Read More: Researchers Develop Artificial Atoms To Boost Quantum Technology

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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