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First 8-photon Schrodinger's cat born

New Delhi, Wed, 29 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 29 (ANI): A group of physicists in China has managed to entangle eight photons in the so-called Schrodinger's cat state for the first time, breaking the previous six-photon world record set up by the same group in 2007.


According to Pan Jianwei, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and his colleagues, Chen Yuao and Lu Chaoyang - all from University of Science and Technology of China, the eight-photon state would allow them to demonstrate a powerful way of correcting quantum errors called topological error correction. Pan is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.


Lu Chaoyang recently said that developing practical quantum computation heavily depends on the coherent manipulation of multiple quantum states. The full entangled multipartite Schrodinger's cat state is an important benchmark of quantum control.


He noted that simply put, a multi-particle entanglement platform is like an aircraft carrier controlling quantum computing, and by relying on the carrier, a variety of quantum computing research is made possible.


The team has been devoted to the research of the field, withlong-term support from CAS, which administers USTC, the Ministry of Science and Technology and National Natural Science Foundation of China, China Daily reported.


Wang Qinmou, a professor from Wuhu-based China Normal University, said that a breakthrough in quantum entanglement - a brand new field - is of vital importance, and its future wide use in quantum communication and biology might even help break the theory of relativity, producing impact on the world's innovation.


In 2004 and 2007, Pan's team succeeded in manipulating the entanglement of five and six photons respectively, with relevant papers published in Nature and Nature Physics. After four years of hard work, the team brought the manipulation of photons to another level, and created the world's best entanglement photon source in terms of brightness and purity.


In early 2011, the team was the first to realize the eight-photon Schrodinger's cat state.


Since the release of the preprint at arXiv.org in May 2011, it has attracted widespread attention in the academic community. Many science publishers, such as Institute of Physics, MIT Technology Review, Phys Org have reported the work, noting that "in a game of one-upmanship, a Chinese team of physicists has figured out how to entangle eight photons simultaneously and to observe them in action; the previous record was six."


The study has been published in Nature Photonics. (ANI)


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