Washington: In what could pave the way for a new era of secure communication, scientists have for the first time shown that the processing speed and accuracy of quantum computers can be raised using tiny lighthouse lenses.
An international team, led by Griffith University in Australia, has performed a series of experiments showing the lenses enable more light to be collected helping to boost
information processing, the `Physical Review Letters` journal reported in its latest edition.
Fresnel lens, first developed for use in lighthouses in the 18th Century, allows light to shine over greater distances making lighthouses visible from far.
Now, the scientists claim to be the first to apply this to quantum computing, which could lead to exciting applications in secure, long-distance networking.
Team member Prof David Kielpinski said collecting light had been a crucial limit in quantum computing that processed computing problems based on whether the light
was on or off.
"The light from a single ion, an electrically charged atom, indicates the result from a computation and its brightness is typically less than a trillionth that of a light
"We successfully used miniature lenses to efficiently image the light emitted from a single ion and this will result in faster processing speeds and lower error rates in quantum
computers," he said.
Team leader Dr Erik Streed said the lenses were cost-effective and scaleable. "The lenses are made with similar methods to computer chips. This means we can use one, 100 or 10,000 lenses with little variation to price.
"Hence, as quantum computers get larger and number of ions grows, we can increase the number of lenses in order to better read the results processed by ions," Dr Streed said.
Quantum computers are expected to solve problems far exceeding the capacity of conventional computers.