PerspectiveApplied Physics

Toward Quantum-Information Processing with Photons

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Science  18 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5716, pp. 1733-1734
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107451

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Quantum mechanics promises a much more powerful information-processing technology than is possible using classical physics. Photons offer one potentially important platform for encoding and manipulating information using the rules of quantum physics. In order to realize this potential, they must interact with each other, something that they are not normally inclined to do. However, as discussed in the Perspective by Walmsley and Raymer, it is possible using a combination of standard optical elements and detectors to synthesize an effective interaction provided all the photons used have identical properties. An important direction of current research is to develop sources of identical photons.