Colloquium Series

Time: Thursday 19 March 2015 – 1:00pm
Place: New Horizons (Building 82), Theatre G29 (map)

Giganitc quantum computers made of laser light

Dr Nicolas Menicucci, University of Sydney

Quantum computers promise ultra-fast computation, but to be useful they need to be big – really big. I will discuss recent breakthroughs in designing and building a huge quantum computer made out of laser light itself. The key to such a quantum computer is a special type of entangled state called a continuous-variable cluster state. These are simple to make using lasers and can be easily scaled up. With such a state, measurements alone enable full quantum computation, with the choice of measurements determining the computation performed. This is surprising: one can quantum compute simply by *looking* at a quantum system in a particular way.

I will describe the basics of measurement-based quantum computing using continuous-variable cluster states and their noise tolerance. I will also report on two recent experimental realisations: a 60- and a 10,000-mode (!) cluster state. In addition to shattering world records for the number of entangled quantum objects, these states are prototypes for the basic building block of an ultra-large-scale quantum computer.

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