SUNY collaboration explores quantum computing network
Researchers simulate a quantum network, offering clues to the hardware needed to support these advanced computers
BUFFALO, NY – Around the world, scientists are racing to create practical quantum computers. Such a breakthrough would eclipse the capabilities of today’s supercomputers, potentially unlocking solutions to society’s thorniest problems such as disease and climate change.
At the same time, scientists are studying which components – such as light sources, detectors and beam splitters – are needed to create efficient quantum computing networks.
To further each effort, a research team from the State University of New York (SUNY) used open-source software to simulate a working quantum computing network. The study, “Generation of Entanglement in a Quantum Network with a Finite Quantum Memory Lifetime,” was published online March 8 in AVS Quantum Science.
“The potential for quantum computing is enormous,” says the study’s lead author, Vasili Perebeinos, PhD, professor of electrical engineering at the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “And as we move closer to adopting this new technology, there are still many fundamental questions that need to be answered.”
Unlike today’s computers, which encode information in bits that take the value “1” or “0”, quantum computers use quantum bits (also called qubits) which exploit the ability of subatomic particles to exist at the times in the “1” and the “0”. ” declare simultaneously. This code change greatly increases a computer’s ability to analyze information.
However, most qubits are very fragile. Some require temperatures as low as -273 degrees Celsius to exhibit “long-term consistency”, which is another way of saying that qubits continue to function properly, allowing computers to do their job.
The new study aims to explore these limits by simulating a quantum computing network where two parties securely share information.
This includes many aspects of quantum science, including quantum entanglement, which Merriam-Webster says is “a property of an array of subatomic particles whereby a quantum characteristic (such as spin or momentum ) of a particle is directly and immediately correlated with the equivalent characteristic of the others independently of the separation in space.
The goal, according to the researchers, is to improve the scientific community’s knowledge of the types of physical systems needed to make quantum computing networks reliable and practical.
“We want to explore how efficiently we can share quantum entanglement between distant nodes,” says co-author Xuedong Hu, PhD, professor of physics at UB College of Arts and Sciences. “The essential criterion for an efficient quantum internet is to generate a robust entanglement between distant nodes with a high repetition rate.”
For the simulations, the researchers used technology developed by Argonne National Laboratory.
“Simulations of quantum network performance based on hardware component characteristics pave the way for examining the usefulness of different material platforms for designing circuit elements in the quantum network,” says Perebeinos. “For example, it is desirable that a scalable second-generation quantum LAN be based on solid-state hardware platforms. However, long-lived quantum memory in solid-state materials is more challenging than in atomic vapor-based quantum memory.
Research is ongoing and further simulations are planned.
Additional co-authors include Eden Figueroa, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University, and Vyacheslav Semenenko, who was a postdoctoral researcher in Perebeinos’ lab from 2019-21.
UB’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the SUNY Research Seed Grant Program provided funds to support the study.