QUANTUM OPTICS

Building blocks of a quantum network

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Science  12 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6240, pp. 1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6240.1219-g

A successful quantum-based communication network will require several components that can reliably store, manipulate, retrieve, and retransmit quantum-encoded information. Being robust, fast, and capable of traveling long distances, photons are ideal quantum information carriers. Sayrin et al. show that cold atoms trapped at the surface of a tapered optical fiber can slow and store light pulses, down to the single-photon level, within the tapered fiber cavity and then retrieve them a couple of microseconds later. Such a building block that can exploit the well-established optic fiber technology could prove an extremely versatile platform for developing long-distance quantum communication networks.

Optica 2, 353 (2015).

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