Researchers find way to use vibrations to benefit quantum technology

Physicists often wish that systems they study could exist in isolation, free from external influences. This is especially true in the field of quantum computing, where even the tiniest vibrations or disturbances from the outside world can cause quantum systems to lose information. However, a recent study published in Nature Communications suggests that these vibrations might actually be beneficial for quantum technology.

Researchers, led by Joe Kitzman, a doctoral student at Michigan State University, have found that understanding how vibrations couple with quantum systems can be used as a resource to create and stabilize certain types of quantum states. This could help mitigate information loss in quantum bits, or qubits, which are the building blocks of quantum computers. Unlike classical bits that encode information as either 0 or 1, qubits can exist in a superposition of both states simultaneously, offering advantages for solving complex problems in various fields.

The team at Michigan State University, including Johannes Pollanen, the Jerry Cowen Endowed Chair of Physics, built a system comprising a superconducting qubit and surface acoustic wave resonators. By studying the mechanical interaction between qubits and these resonators, they could tune the vibrations experienced by the qubits and analyze how they affected the fidelity of quantum information.

Understanding the impact of environmental factors on quantum systems is crucial for the development of quantum technology. While it is ideal to isolate the system from the environment, it is not always possible. The research conducted by the team at Michigan State University provides valuable insights into the interplay between qubits and vibrations, shedding light on how to exploit and control these interactions to enhance quantum computing.

This work not only has implications for quantum technology but also sets the stage for future experiments exploring quantum systems in general. The researchers are excited to continue using their system to further investigate the quantum world.

Source: Michigan State University

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