PRESS RELEASE — A recently awarded grant of $450,000 USD from the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s basic research office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) will enable two Canadian start-ups, Ki3 Photonics and Quantum Bridge Technologies, to explore highly-entangled states of light towards cutting-edge functionalities in telecommunications and computing.
“We’re honored to receive this support, which we’ll use to quantify the advantages and limitations of large quantum states for quantum photonics infrastructures,” said Dr. Yoann Jestin, co-founder and CEO of Ki3 Photonics.
Entanglement, the linkage of particles despite their separation, is at the core of this research project. One of the most peculiar phenomena in quantum physics (dubbed ‘spooky action at a distance’ by Einstein), the generation, control, and distribution of entangled particles is a prerequisite to future quantum technologies, like computers, and their interconnection as part of local and distributed networks.
“More than anything, we need a deep understanding of how the creation and manipulation of large quantum systems can be scaled. We want to build computer simulators that can help us understand these phenomena,” said Dr. Mattia Montagna, co-founder and CEO of Quantum Bridge Technologies.
As quantum information science undergoes major advances, especially in the fields of quantum computing and communications, such scalability is key. Entanglement plays a key role in the deployment of quantum networks at a large scale, but the technical challenges associated with its control continue to pose issues to experimental and theoretical physics alike.
For Dr. Stefania Sciara, a quantum physicist working alongside the team, large quantum states are particularly necessary to increase communications distances, as part of all-optical quantum repeaters. “It would not be an exaggeration to call such states the holy grail of the field. Our approach can enable scalable measurement-based quantum computers, quantum repeaters, or even large networks of sensors based on quantum phenomena.”
Piotr Roztocki, the CTO of Ki3 Photonics agrees, but also acknowledges the limitations of human-based quantum investigations. “We just aren’t equipped to think in the high dimensions these states occupy. Computers are, which is why we’re targeting a framework that combines recent advances in learning and optimization towards these hard problems we’re facing. We’re optimistic about our chances.”
About Ki3 Photonics
Ki3 Photonics specializes in the generation and processing of quantum photonic signals. The company develops state-of-the-art solutions, readily-implementable with existing telecom infrastructure, paving the way for quantum networks with parallel/multi-channel information processing.
About Quantum Bridge Technologies
Quantum Bridge Technologies is a Canadian startup working on the development of all-photonic quantum repeaters based on principles of classical and quantum information theory.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force and Space Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit afresearchlab.com.