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Photos of the Day: The Boson-Sampling Computer

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 9:48am
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Despite the widespread research on quantum computing, nobody has built a machine that uses quantum mechanics to solve a computational problem faster than a classical silicon-based computer. Enter the Boson-Sampling Computer.

The 8-cm-long silica-on-silicon photonic chip in the center of the picture served as the 4-photon QBSM. Arrays of single-mode fibers are glued to the left and right sides of the chip. For viewing purposes, a red laser is coupled into two of the single mode fibers (right side of picture), which illuminate a portion of the on-chip interferometric network.

For the boson sampling experiment, the red laser was replaced with single photon sources. There are five thermal phase shifting elements on top of the chip, though they were not used in this experiment. This image, and the two immediately following, relate to a paper that appeared in the Dec. 20, 2012, issue of Science Express, published by AAAS.

The paper, by Justin Spring at University of Oxford in Oxford, UK, and colleagues was titled, "Boson Sampling on a Photonic Chip." (Credit: Dr. James C. Gates)

The 8-cm-long silica-on-silicon photonic chip in the center of the picture was used in the 4 photon QBSM experiment. Arrays of single-mode fibers were glued to either side of the chip.

A red laser is coupled into two fibers (foreground) to illuminate a portion of the on-chip interferometric network. (Credit: Dr. James C. Gates)

The boson sampling experiments were performed on silica-on-silicon photonic chips. This photo shows such a chip (bottom center) during the fabrication process, where ultraviolet lasers (center) are focused into a doped layer of silica to create a localized refractive index increase.

The chip is moved on a precision translation stage to trace out the desired circuit geometry. (Credit: Dr. James C. Gates)

This shows Dr. Matthew Broome at work on the BosonSampling device.

This image, and the two that immediately follow, relate to a paper titled, "Photonic BosonSampling in a Tunable Circuit" that appeared in the Dec. 20, 2012 issue of ScienceExpress. (Credit: Alisha Toft)

This is the logo of the Quantum Technology Lab at the University of Queensland spelled out with the laser beams used in the BosonSampling device. (Credit: Alisha Toft)
Drs. Alessandro Fedrizzi (left) and Matthew Broome (right) are shown designing the BosonSampling device. This paper, which appeared in the Dec. 20, 2012, issue of ScienceExpress, published by AAAS, was authored by Matthew Broome at University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues. (Credit: Alisha Toft)
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