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Discovery
A Beautiful Memory

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Illustration showing entanglement to and from distinct quantum memories.

Entanglement, one of the most striking features of quantum mechanics, leads to strong correlations between the various components of a physical system, regardless of the distance separating them. However, entanglement is fragile, and to use quantum protocols over long distances the channel has to be divided into many segments and entanglement generated and stored into material systems before connecting them all together. The significant achievement of the Caltech group is that they have demonstrated an initial version of one of these segments. The experiment involves two quantum memories separated by three meters, each consisting of two atomic ensembles separated by one millimeter. The ensembles are clouds of about 100,000 cooled cesium atoms. With real-time control of the quantum states, entanglement is generated, stored into the atoms, and finally converted to photons on demand. The released entanglement is in an appropriate form for quantum communication applications.

Credit: Zina Deretsky


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Photo of Caltech Valentine Professor of Physics H. Jeff Kimble.

Professor Kimble and his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology are advancing the field of quantum information science by creating and manipulating entangled states of light and matter.

Credit: Caltech


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Photo of James Chou, Daniel Felantro and Hugues de Riedmatten in their entanglement lab at Caltech.

Caltech researchers James Chou, Daniel Felinto and Hugues de Riedmatten in the Caltech laboratory where 1 quantum of excitation was shared in an entangled quantum state between two atomic ensembles located 3 meters apart.

Credit: Caltech


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