The battle for more milliseconds is heating up.
Researchers in China and Germany said they have found a much more effective way to store data in a quantum system environment while being able to retrieve a significant share of the data. Using a magneto-optical trap, they were able to hold the data in a quantum state for 3.2 milliseconds.
That may not sound much, but is a huge step in quantum memory efficiency. Current storage durations in quantum systems are typically measured in nanoseconds and typically deliver about 200 to 300 nanoseconds of storage duration while providing 85 percent data retrieval capability. This new system gave researchers 3.2 milliseconds as well as 75 percent retrieval rate.
The key of the research is a magneto-optical trap the scientists used to slow down atoms via a laser beam. This process allowed them to "trap" them in a "vertical triangular trap". Adding a photon created a spin that affected all atoms and created a so-called spin wave. A second laser fired at the same frequency as the first but with the opposite polarization, which enabled the researchers to convert the spin back to a photon, revealing the quantum state information being held first in the original photon, and was transported through the wave.
Embedding information in this spin wave enabled the system to hold on to "quantum state information for a specified period of time", the researchers said. They now believe that optical lattices into the trap they could make the design even more efficient. The scientists also noted that this technology could be key to be able to create memory storage devices for an actual quantum computer.