For the second year in a row, a scientific advance by Professor Roberto Morandotti's team at the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre has been chosen as one of the top ten discoveries of 2016 by Québec Science. Quantum computing is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to the team's breakthrough in optical physics.
Using an optical frequency comb, researchers were able to simultaneously generate multiphoton entangled quantum bit (qubit) states--a historic first. In doing so, they showed that it is possible to generate a wide range of complex quantum states for optical communication in signal processing and spectroscopy.
The discovery is also compatible with current electronics. This represents a significant advantage, spurring Professor Morandotti to predict in the Québec Science article that the computer of tomorrow will be a hybrid that combines the characteristics of present day computers and those of quantum computers, with their vastly superior computing power.
The breakthrough was made in INRS's ultra high speed light manipulation laboratory (LULMAN) and has been met with keen interest from the international scientific community. It also garnered the attention of prestigious media such as Science Daily, Science, and Optics and Photonics News (the "Optics in 2016" special issue), to name a few.
Researchers Christian Reimer, Michael Kues, Piotr Roztocki, Benjamin Wetzel, Fabio Grazioso, Brent E. Little, Sai T. Chu, Tudor Johnston, Yaron Bromberg, Lucia Caspani, David J. Moss, and Roberto Morandotti presented their results in the March 2016 issue of Science in an article entitled "Generation of multiphoton entangled quantum states by means of integrated frequency combs" (DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8532).
2016 Discovery of the Year: People's Choice Award
The public is invited to vote on the 10 jury panel selections to name the biggest discovery of the year. The People's Choice Award will go to the discovery that receives the most votes by February 9, 2017. Vote online at: http://www.quebecscience.qc.ca/10-decouvertes-2016/decouverte2016
Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) is a graduate-level research and training university and ranks first in Canada for research intensity (average funding per professor). INRS brings together some 150 professors and close to 700 students and postdoctoral fellows at its four centres in Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, and Varennes. Its basic research is essential to the advancement of science in Quebec and internationally, and its research teams play a key role in the development of concrete solutions to the problems faced by our society.