Researchers have conducted a ground-breaking operation to show “hybrid” quantum networking, which is a first for the world. The method, which combines two ways of encoding information in light particles called photons, may enable more powerful and reliable computing and communications.
Quantum networking systems can encode information as discrete variables (DVs) in particles or continuous variables (CVs) in waves, like classical electronics can depict information as digital or analog signals. Researchers have used only one strategy for any particular system, not both.
The group created photons in two extremely entangled states using a complex assembly of optical components. One of them resulted from the division of a single photon into two distinct pathways. The second, known as a “hybrid-entangled state,” resulted from tying together a DV optical qubit and a CV qubit that were both held in a superposition of two distinct light phases.
The entanglement was transferred or “teleported” to the two systems, [which] never interacted with one another, using a unique technique called Bell-state measurement between these two independently entangled states. This transference made it possible to combine the DV and CV strategies into a singular, scalable quantum network by converting the quantum information in the qubits from one encoding technique to the other.
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