Quantum Light – Super-Fast Detection With Photonic Chips

Researchers have developed a new miniaturized light detector to measure quantum light features in greater detail. The device, constructed from two working silicon chips, measured the unique properties of “squeezed” quantum light at record-breaking speeds.

Using the unique properties of quantum physics to outperform the current state-of-the-art in computing, communication, and measurement promises new paths. Silicon photonics, which uses light as an information carrier in silicon microchips, is an exciting path toward these next-generation technologies.

The effect of squeezed quantum light is extremely useful. It can be used in quantum communications and quantum computers. It has already been used to improve the sensitivity of the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories, allowing them to detect exotic astronomical events such as black hole mergers. As a result, improving how we measure it can have a significant impact.

To detect the weak quantum features of light, detectors designed for ultra-low electronic noise are required for measuring squeezed light. However, the speed at which such detectors can measure signals has previously been limited – approximately one thousand million cycles per second.

It directly impacts the processing speed of emerging information technologies such as optical computers and low-light communications. The faster you can perform calculations and transmit data, the higher the bandwidth of your detector.

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