A team led by Waterloo physicists has successfully detected the presence of single photons while preserving their quantum states.
Photons in quantum states are used as carriers of information and sent over long distance, for applications like quantum cryptography and teleportation. However, any transmission is inherently lossy – only 50 per cent of photons arrive after travelling 15 kilometres through optical fibre – making it very difficult to know when an individual photon is arriving.
Physicist Raymond Laflamme, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and executive director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, saw his CRC renewed for $1.4 million over seven years.
His research on controlling quantum systems using quantum error correction is critical to the development of robust new quantum technologies. Harnessing the power of technologies at the atomic scale requires mechanisms to control these fragile, yet powerful behaviours.