How Laser Diodes Are Being Used for Quantum Computing

How Laser Diodes Are Being Used for Quantum Computing

Quantum computing has largely been theoretical but is close to being practical on a larger scale. Using quantum mechanics, scientists work to develop a computational system that stores and uses data more succinctly. Laser diodes have a lot of functionality, and if you continue reading, you can learn more about how scientists are using laser diodes for quantum computing.

What Is Quantum Computing?

Quantum computing uses quantum bits (qubits) to manipulate subatomic particles to exist multi-dimensionally in more than one state at a time. Traditional computing uses binary ones and zeros to compose the data we see and use. This traditional binary computing restricts processing ability, whereas the ability of qubits to exist in multiple states opens up many more possibilities. Theoretically, quantum computing can solve a traditional calculation in a fraction of the time it would take to solve with binary computing. By some estimates, quantum computing can work over a hundred million times faster than a traditional computer for some calculations.

The Role of Laser Diodes

Quantum computing works theoretically, but part of what makes it so difficult is taking those subatomic particles and superpositioning them to act as qubits for the quantum computer. That is where laser diodes come in. Using lasers, scientists can trap atoms and other ions in an ultra-high vacuum where they are cooled. Scientists can use additional lasers to slow the ions to the lowest motional quantum state. The scientists will then use the Coulomb interaction between the ions to control their quantum states, entangling them in a way where the scientists can perform quantum operations.

The Future

If that is how lasers are being used in quantum computing, what does the future look like? Right now, lasers do a lot, including:

  • Cooling
  • Photoionization
  • Repumping
  • Processing qubits

The current issue is that it takes a lot of energy and precision to power the lasers in this way. The lasers must be reliable and consistent, and there must be some customization potential to tune the lasers to the desired wavelengths. Researchers have begun using a series of focused laser pulses in newer quantum computing tests to address the individual qubits. Since these systems require a lot of work on all ends, whether initializing, manipulating, or reading other quantum computing systems, multiple tunable lasers with multiple frequencies are needed.

The role of laser diodes in quantum computing is important, but there is a lot of room for error. That’s why it’s important that, when you’re working with lasers and laser diodes, you shop with reputable suppliers like us at Arroyo Instruments. We are a reputable laser diode and temperature controller manufacturer, and you can rest assured knowing you’ll get the right equipment for your projects when you work with us.