The research was a collaboration between the Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) nodes at Sydney and Macquarie universities, with a bit of help from colleagues at the Universities of Bristol and St Andrews in the UK and the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France.
The research breakthrough creates a pair of photons using a device just 100 microns long (about the thickness of a human hair), which means that hundreds could be used on a single computer chip, which could help make quantum computing a realistic endeavour.
According to Michael Steel, CUDOS chief investigator, explained the security aspect in the press release:
“Current systems use classical light to carry information, which hackers can easily tap into and use to their advantage. But you cannot copy the information encoded in quantum states without being noticed by the system. Single photon devices will ensure communication and information systems are secure from hackers, guaranteeing peace of mind for the users.”
The scientists behind the breakthrough will be reporting their findings in a paper to be presented in the US next week. Here’s hoping it pushes quantum computing into the next stages.