Quantum states 10,000 times longer coherent

A team of scientists at the University of Chicago‘s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering announced the discovery of a simple modification that allows quantum systems to stay coherent 10,000 times longer than before.

Though the scientists tested their technique on a particular class of quantum systems called solid-state qubits, they think it should be applicable to many other kinds of quantum systems and could thus revolutionize quantum communication, computing and sensing.

Quantum states need an extremely quiet, stable space to operate, as they are easily disturbed by background noise coming from vibrations, temperature changes or stray electromagnetic fields.

In tandem with the usual electromagnetic pulses used to control quantum systems, the team applied an additional continuous alternating magnetic field. By precisely tuning this field, the scientists could rapidly rotate the electron spins and allow the system to “tune out” the rest of the noise.

Though their tests were run in a solid-state quantum system using silicon carbide, the scientists believe the technique should have similar effects in other types of quantum systems, such as superconducting quantum bits and molecular quantum systems. This level of versatility is unusual for such an engineering breakthrough. (Phys.org)

The study was published in Science.