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  • Noah Wood

Why Linear Optics?


Linear optical quantum computing is a promising approach to quantum computing that uses the principles of quantum optics to encode, process and readout quantum information. It has the potential to be scalable and fault-tolerant, and has been demonstrated with a variety of platforms including single photons, atomic ensembles and trapped ions. In this post, we'll take a look at how linear optical quantum computing works, and some of the challenges that need to be overcome to make it a practical reality.


At its heart, linear optical quantum computing relies on the fact that photons can be reliably manipulated and detected. This makes them ideal candidates for storing and processing quantum information. In contrast to other approaches to quantum computing, such as quantum spin chains, linear optical quantum computing is easily scalable. This is because the number of photons required to perform a quantum computation is independent of the number of qubits (the basic units of quantum information).


Linear optical quantum computing is not without its challenges. One of the biggest is that photons are notoriously difficult to detect, especially when they are carrying quantum information. This means that errors can easily creep in, which can lead to incorrect results. Another challenge is that the quantum state of a photon is very fragile. This means that anything that disturbs the photon, such as noise or a change in temperature, can cause the quantum state to collapse. This makes it difficult to perform quantum computations that are error-free.

Despite these challenges, linear optical quantum computing is a promising approach to quantum computing. It has the potential to be scalable and fault-tolerant, and has already been demonstrated with a variety of platforms. If these challenges can be overcome, linear optical quantum computing could be the key to unlocking the power of quantum computers.

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