PerspectiveApplied Physics

Storing Quantum Information in Schrödinger's Cats

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Science  01 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6158, pp. 568-569
DOI: 10.1126/science.1245510

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When Schrödinger came up with his thought experiment connecting the fate of a cat in a box to the quantum-mechanical process of radioactive decay (1), he probably did not consider that the idea might one day be used in technology. However, the transfer of the state of a superconducting quantum bit (qubit) to a 100-photon light state to map and store the contained quantum information, as reported by Vlastakis et al. on page 607 of this issue (2), is analogous to this iconic thought experiment. In contrast with the original version, however, the researchers are in complete control of the process and envision its use to store multiple bits of quantum information in a future quantum processor.