Dec 7, 2022

Quantum processor reveals bound states of photons hold strong even in the midst of chaos

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

Researchers have used a quantum processor to make microwave photons uncharacteristically sticky. They coaxed them to clump together into bound states, then found that these photon clusters survived in a regime where they were expected to dissolve into their usual, solitary states. The discovery was first made on a quantum processor, marking the growing role that these platforms are playing in studying quantum dynamics.

Photons—quantum packets of electromagnetic radiation like light or microwaves—typically don’t interact with one another. Two crossed flashlight beams, for example, pass through one another undisturbed. But in an array of superconducting qubits, microwave photons can be made to interact.

In “Formation of robust of interacting photons,” published today in Nature, researchers at Google Quantum AI describe how they engineered this unusual situation. They studied a ring of 24 that could host . By applying quantum gates to pairs of neighboring qubits, photons could travel around by hopping between neighboring sites and interacting with nearby photons.

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