Quantum Age Closer?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Drum Storage

Physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US have successfully entangled properties of a microscopic drum with electrical signals. The research marks the first ever entanglement of a microscopic oscillator that confirms the fact that aluminium microdrum created by NIST could be used as quantum memory in future quantum computers.

The entanglement occurring in the quantum world is believed to take place only at atomic and smaller scales and therefore it could be used in case of quantum computing. The NIST introduced the aluminium microdrum in 2011 and suggested it might be able to store data in quantum computers. The drum is only 15 micrometers wide and 100 nanometers thick.

During the experiment, a microwave signal ‘cooled’ the drum to a very low energy level in a way analogous to some laser cooling techniques. Another signal caused the drum’s motion to become entangled with a microwave pulse that emerged spontaneously in the system. The drum stored the quantum information for 10 seconds, which is enough during experiments. Later a same sort of microwave signal that cooled the drum was used to transfer the state stored in the drum to a second microwave pulse.

By measuring the first microwave pulse, scientists anticipated characteristics of the second pulse with greater accuracy. The correlations between the two pulses indicated that the first pulse was entangled with the drum and the second pulse encoded the drum’s quantum state. The results point toward the fact that the drum could be a potential memory device that could be used to generate entanglement in microwaves to convert a form of quantum information to an incompatible form and sense tiny forces with precision.

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