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Scalable quantum simulations on a photonic chip

13.09.2023 - A system using photonics-based synthetic dimensions could be used to help explain complex natural phenomena.

Scientists have made an important step toward developing computers advanced enough to simulate complex natural phenomena at the quantum level. While these types of simu­lations are too cumbersome or outright impossible for classical computers to handle, photonics-based quantum computing systems could provide a solution. A team of researchers from the University of Rochester’s Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences developed a new chip-scale optical quantum simu­lation system that could help make such a system feasible.

Quing Lin’s team ran the simu­lations in a synthetic space that mimics the physical world by controlling the frequency of quantum entangled photons as time elapses. This approach differs from the traditional photonics-based computing methods in which the paths of photons are controlled, and also drastically reduces the physical footprint and resource require­ments. “For the first time, we have been able to produce a quantum-correlated synthetic crystal,” says Lin. “Our approach significantly extends the dimen­sions of the synthetic space, enabling us to perform simulations of several quantum-scale phenomena such as random walks of quantum entangled photons.”

The researchers say that this system can serve as a basis for more intricate simulations in the future. “Though the systems being simulated are well understood, this proof-of-principle experiment demons­trates the power of this new approach for scaling up to more complex simu­lations and computation tasks, something we are very excited to investigate in the future,” says Usman Javid. (Source: U. Rochester)

Reference: U. A. Javid et al.: Chip-scale simulations in a quantum-correlated synthetic space, Nat. Phot., online 22 June 2023; DOI: 10.1038/s41566-023-01236-7

Link: Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, USA

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