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Scientists record quantum information in sound waves

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Scientists record quantum information in sound waves

Storing quantum data in sound waves opens up interesting perspectives
(photo: CC0 Public Domain)

Imagine that you pronounce words in an empty room after a while you get into it and you listen to what was said earlier… In the ordinary world, such a scenario is excluded, no in the quantum world this is possible and opens the way to create mechanical recorders for quantum computers that store the data in sound waves.

Without memorizing the intermediate result, quantum computing is severely limited and its scaling faces difficulties. A group of researchers at the California Institute of Technology is proposing a completely new approach to storing quantum information. They convert electrical quantum states into sound waves and extract them back when needed, HPC Wire reports on the experiment.

The development is based on the fact that single crystals at ultra-low temperatures can be in a state of oscillation for an extremely long time. This effect is observed in vibrations of such quasiparticles as acoustic phonons.

The oscillation frequency is in the gigahertz range, and the lifetime of the phonons is much longer than any other alternative method of mechanically recording information, the researchers say.

To transfer an electrical quantum state to a “sounding” phonon, scientists place a charge on an oscillating crystal. Acting on the charge (charged crystal), they change the frequency of oscillation of the phonons and thus record a bit of information. This provides an electrical connection between the quantum platforms and the mechanical storage system.

The scientists emphasize that even before their research there were similar experiments based on piezoelectric elements. Piezoelectrics, however, require special materials and manufacturing conditions, while the system proposed now uses the most common materials.

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