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Quantum Discord Provides Easier Path to Realize Future Quantum Technologies

An international team comprising researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), The Australian National University (ANU), the University of Oxford and the University of Queensland have discovered that quantum discord, an easier accessible and more robust phenomenon, can provide a quantum advantage.

New research identifies quantum discord as a resource that can be tapped to extract information with the right quantum tools. This is an artist’s illustration of the ‘unlocking’ of discord. (Photo credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore)

Until a few years ago, scientists believed that exploiting the properties of the quantum realm such as entanglement is essential to realize quantum technologies. Entanglement, which was considered as resource to operate a quantum computer, can be safeguarded under near ideal conditions in a lab setup. However, the phenomenon is weak and short-lived outside the lab.

Nevertheless, in the last few years, researchers have identified technologies that get a quantum advantage devoid of entanglement but left with a question regarding the resource of the quantum power. The NUS team found a direct relation between quantum discord and quantum power. Research Fellow at NUS’ Centre for Quantum Technologies, Mile Gu stated that the researchers have demonstrated that quantum discord is a resource that can be harnessed with right quantum tools.

The ANU team encoded data onto laser light to illustrate the unlocking of this quantum resource. In its experiment, the team showed that more data can be retrieved through the use of quantum discord. Quantum discord has been demonstrated to be available in several systems but might have been considered as an unwanted noise earlier. Thus, some researchers believed that it may be useful.

On the other hand, the new findings propose otherwise. The demonstrated experiment is not reckoned a quantum computation, but it illustrates that quantum discord shows promise to be unlocked for quantum technologies. Scientists are now seeking other tasks that could be improved by quantum discord, which is believed to provide a convenient path to future quantum technologies when compared to entanglement.

Source: http://www.nus.edu.sg/

Will Soutter

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Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

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