Are diamonds the missing link to quantum computing?

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Flawed diamonds could be key in unlocking the next generation of computing and perhaps one day the quantum internet, a new study suggests. Revolutionary new tech allowing for unhackable networks and information that travels faster than the speed of light could be one step closer due to the new discovery.

Able to send enormous amounts of data over vast distances, similar to teleportation, quantum computing could be achieved by using these flawed diamonds — atomic defects where carbon is replaced by nitrogen — which could offer a close-to-perfect interface. The only issue is that these diamond nitrogen-vacancy centers, controlled via a magnetic field, are incompatible with existing quantum devices.

Quantum computing finds better or quicker ways to solve problems, many of which are not possible using standard computers. Experts say they could solve in seconds what a normal machine would take years to solve.

Diamonds / quantum computer study
By combining the entangled emission demonstrated in this study with the previously demonstrated quantum teleportation transfer from a photon to a nuclear spin in diamond, researchers will generate quantum entanglement between remote locations based on quantum teleportation.

Quantum computers do this by substituting the binary on/off “bits” of classical computing with something called “qubits” – essentially always ‘on’. There are currently only a small number of quantum computing platforms being developed around the world.

In the study, scientists say the issue is like trying to connect an Altair, an early personal computer developed in 1974, to the internet via WiFi. While the two technologies speak different languages, the first step is to help translate.

The team successfully used microwave and light polarized waves to entangle an emitted photon and left spin qubits, the quantum equivalent of information bits in classical systems. These polarizations are waves that move perpendicular to the originating source, like seismic waves radiating out horizontally from a vertical fault shift.

In quantum mechanics, the spin property — either right- or left-handed — of the photon determines how the polarization moves, meaning it is predictable and controllable. When inducing entanglement via this property under a non-magnetic field, the connection appears steadfast against other variables. This approach with the previous data transfer via teleportation, and the resulting exchange of information, is to one day create a quantum internet.

“To realize the quantum internet, a quantum interface is required to generate remote quantum entanglement by photons, which are a quantum communication medium,” says co-author Hideo Kosaka, of Yokohama National University in Japan, in a statement per South West News Service. “The geometric nature of polarizations allows us to generate remote quantum entanglement that is resilient to noise and timing errors. The realization of a quantum internet will enable quantum cryptography, distributed quantum computation and quantum sensing over long distances of more than 1,000 km.”

The study is published in Communications Physics.

South West News Service writer Joe Morgan contributed to this report.

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