Eden Figueroa has extensive been fascinated with quantum mechanics.
It’s a unusual, Star Trek-like planet in which objects can exist in two or more states at the same time, interact with every other instantly about prolonged distances, and flash into and out of existence. Scientists like Figueroa — the quantum data engineering investigation leader in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook College — get the job done to harness this habits with hopes of turning it into a new and enhanced internet.
“I believe the web is one particular of the biggest points humanity has ever created. But it is not fantastic,” Figueroa mentioned. “What we want is an world wide web that’s fast and protected. People are the two inquiries that there are now no responses to.”
Irrespective of the higher degree of the physics associated, the premise of the authentic-globe problem is not any further than that.
“When you have Zoom conferences you never want to reduce the other members, and if you are employing your credit history playing cards for internet transactions, you never want persons to get your information,” reported Figueroa. “These are illustrations any individual can relate to.”
Technological innovation is generally developed incrementally and organically it starts off off smaller and grows. That didn’t come about with the web.
“In a short period of time we went from acquiring a modest network of researchers to a around the world network in which everyone is linked,” explained Figueroa. “It was remarkable and it adjusted the environment. But no one was spending notice together the way to points like net stability or transferring amounts of details that ended up formerly unimaginable.”
While a conventional pc handles electronic bits of 0s and 1s, quantum personal computers use quantum bits which can take on any value in between and 1. And if you entangle the bits, you can remedy complications that usual computer systems are unable to. Figueroa says the most important problem to creating these quantum networks is demonstrating that they get the job done with single photons, and showing you can transfer entanglement in a community, working with it any time you need.
“If you have entanglement, you have quantum teleportation, and therefore you can move information and facts from one spot to the other,” he mentioned. “If you manage to have loads of photons that are all entangled, then you can — in principle, employing quantum teleportation — transfer heaps of facts from one position to the other. As soon as we get that considerably, the obstacle is to transfer these entangled photons about longer distances.”
Figueroa arrived to Stony Brook in 2013, the initially professor hired to exclusively do quantum data science, tasked with setting up the two a lab and a program. 8 decades later, Figueroa and his team of 12 graduate college students and two undergrads goal to create and apply the to start with agnostic quantum repeater network.
“All the technological innovation that we establish in this laboratory is supposed to generate a initial version of that quantum repeater,” he reported.
The test bed for his suggestions is a quantum network connecting destinations in Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), about 17 miles away. Figueroa utilized current fiberoptic infrastructure and has deployed entanglement sources and quantum reminiscences in numerous buildings on the BNL campus, with fibers applied to quantum join the physics and instrumentation buildings with the Scientific Info and Computation Centre. A related local location quantum network was designed on the Stony Brook campus.
With the quantum conversation channels in position, Figueroa uses the photonic entanglement sources to at the same time shop and retrieve quantum correlations in 4 quantum reminiscences on both equally campuses. In 2020, the staff reached transmission of one-photon degree polarization quantum bits (qubits) in a configuration covering a whole of close to 87 miles. This marked the longest prosperous quantum conversation hyperlink experiment in the United States.
“In the last two or three many years the dilemma has come to be even bigger,” said Figueroa. “Now we have some ‘toys’ how do we community them? This is what helps make us exclusive. With these examination beds we are seriously testing the equipment in this network configurations, and seriously transferring quantum facts around more time distances. That is extremely primary. In the US there are only a several test beds, but I feel the one that we have is by significantly the most state-of-the-art right now.”
Figueroa isn’t by yourself in operating toward this grand eyesight. His little but really committed staff shares his enthusiasm, doing whatsoever it requires to further more the result in. To illustrate the point, Figueroa displays off a working design network in his lab, with optical tables designed with parts that had to be created and assembled and specifically put. “Once you establish them all of them, you have to align them to serve a function,” he mentioned. “It’s a lot of work”
PhD prospect Guadong Cui ’22 is on that team, and describes the quantum problem as just one of “depth and prosperity.”
“If you inquire a critical thinker about it, entanglement is simply just not possible – it’s like performing with a ghost other than that a ghost would have been considerably less complicated to realize,” mentioned Cui. “Yet it is achievable, because we make, approach and even make a quantum gate for it. The fact that I’m working on a undertaking that hits each the deepest curiosity of me as a man or woman and serves the will need for revolutionizing information engineering for human beings makes this perform amazingly fascinating.”
“What I like about Quantum conversation is that basic questions about light issue interaction are being researched in parallel with the engineering procedures to converge to the intention of developing foreseeable future technological innovation,” extra PhD applicant Sonali Gera, ‘21.
Physics big Leonardo Castillo Veneros, ’22, focuses on home-temperature quantum memories and finding their optimal regimes of operation.
“Before enrolling at Stony Brook, about four years ago, I frequented the Quantum Details Laboratory on a campus tour and I was blown absent looking at the setups on the optical tables,” reported Castillo Veneros, who enrolled in the drop of 2017 and began doing work in the lab in spring 2018.
Rishikesh Gokhale ’25 will work on building no cost house quantum communication channel between BNL and Stony Brook. “I like the point that I function on a thing which would exchange a major chunk of the present conversation network and make communication more secure and a lot quicker,” mentioned Gokhale, who is pursuing a PhD in physics. “I was fascinated in the expanding field of quantum information and facts and at the exact same time, I desired to be an experimentalist. Professor Figueroa’s lab gives me an option to do that.”
All workforce users credit rating Figueroa for staying ready to provide assistance though nonetheless making it possible for them to take a look at their personal passions inside the undertaking. Rishikesh provides that Figueroa delivers the “freedom to assume, apply and improvise.”
“His enthusiasm and perseverance to the industry are incredibly inspiring and motivating,’ mentioned Castillo Veneros. “When I initial realized about the form of get the job done he was accomplishing I required to grow to be part of it. I’m thankful for the option to lead to this incredible energy to make a quantum community in Extended Island.”
As the task moves ahead, Figueroa hesitates to set a time frame on it, noting that no advancement is at any time a guaranteed detail.
“If we had endless cash, which is never ever the circumstance, I would say the horizon is someplace around five many years from now,” he explained. “With our existing funding it’s heading to be additional like 10 yrs. We even now have to have to take a look at this network configuration and each individual single part of it to get it appropriate. When we get there, then we can scale that up. But this is groundbreaking research we’re accomplishing right now, and we’re schooling the leaders of the long run in this area. It’s a exceptional story for Stony Brook. And I like that.”
– Robert Emproto