Light-Matter Hybrid Created, Opening New Doors Towards Quantum Computers

Credi: Pixabay

According to recent study a specific kind of light created from an antique Namibian gem might be the path to new light-based quantum systems that answer long-held scientific problems.

Using a naturally occurring cuprous oxide (Cu2O) jewel from Namibia, researchers constructed the biggest hybrid nanoparticles of light & matter yet made.

Rydberg polaritons constantly flip between light & matter. It is the material side of a Rydberg polaritons coin that causes the polaritons to engage with one another.

To build a quantum emulator, a unique kind of quantum computer that stores data in quantum bits, this interaction is essential. They may take each and every range between 0 & 1, versus binary bits in traditional computers, which can either be 0 or 1. This means they can retain a lot more data and do a lot more things at once.

There are many important questions that quantum simulators could help us answer, like how to create high-temperature superconductivity for fast trains, make plant food at a lower cost that could end world hunger, or how proteins fold so that better drugs can be manufactured.

Light was confined between two extremely reflecting screens to form Rydberg polaritons. It was subsequently reduced and refined to a 30-micrometer wide slab (slimmer than just a string of hair) and placed between both the two reflectors to produce Rydberg polaritons that were 100 times bigger than previously reported.

Quantum circuits, the next component in quantum simulators, are now being investigated by the team as a possible outcome of these methodologies.

In the near future, this breakthrough could lead to new classes of hybrid quantum computers that can be fit into a mobile phone and make complex scientific calculations in seconds. There’s still a lot of work to do before we get there, but one day soon it might be possible thanks to the strange properties of light and matter mingled together in Rydberg polaritons.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.