Published: 03 June 2016

Applying principles based on Schrödinger’s famous “cat-in-a-box” thought experiment could be used in quantum technologies

The new paper published in Scientific Reports suggests a theoretical method for realising a ‘teleportation protocol’ that could make use of such ‘cat-states’ – where matter can be in two states at once – in quantum computation.

Schrödinger’s cat is back and is realized in ways that its creator Erwin Schrödinger might not have foreseen in the 1930’s when he proposed the perplexing thought experiment about a cat both “dead and alive”  at the same time in a box. Recently, so called ‘cat states’ - where matter can be in two states at once - has been shown to be extended in an experiment at Yale university. In the experiment, it was shown that change induced in one subatomic particle was also inflicted at the same time in another particle that was in a different place, as the chambers (‘boxes’) each particle was in were linked by a superconducting chip  - prompting a strange twist on the original thought experiment.

The paper, published today by Dr Eran Ginossar and former PDRA Dr Jaewoo Joo in Scientific Reports details the theoretical underpinning for realizing a teleportation protocol which utilizes these extended ‘cat states’ demonstrated by Yale. The physical system - which by using Schrödinger’s analogy we could call the “cat” - would consist of microwave photons trapped in a two chambers made of superconducting material. If realized, such teleportation protocols can open the way for new uses of ‘cat-states’ in quantum computing and quantum technology in general.

View the full paper Efficient scheme for hybrid teleportation via entangled coherent states in circuit quantum electrodynamics on the Nature website. 

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