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Longer storage boosts quantum networks

  December 8/15, 2008
Find a way to make quantum data last as long as a few milliseconds and you've improved the chances for practical quantum networks.

Two research teams have found ways to boost quantum memory lifetimes from a few tens of microseconds to 6 and 1 milliseconds, respectively. The memories store information in subtle quantum states of ultra cold atom clouds.

Quantum memory lifetimes in the millisecond range are long enough to support quantum repeater protocols. Quantum repeaters, which receive fading quantum signals and retransmit them, are the main components of quantum networks.

Quantum networks would extend the range of theoretically perfectly secure quantum cryptographic systems, and could connect quantum computers, which have the potential to perform tasks like cracking secret codes that are beyond the reach of ordinary computers.

Research paper:
Long-lived Quantum Memory
Nature Physics, published online December 7, 2008
A Millisecond Quantum Memory for Scalable Quantum Networks
Nature Physics, published online December 7, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Kuzmich Research Group
Brian Kennedy
Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, University of Heidelberg
Jörg Schmiedmayer

Related stories and briefs:
Phosphorous makes quantum memory -- related research

Back to TRN December 8/15, 2008

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