Quantum computing is heralded as an important step in the development of the next generation of computing power. Using quantum mechanics, computers will have the potential to process information significantly faster than they currently process.
Like any innovative technology, the progress is mixed, with each step fraught with challenges that limit utility.
Currently, the laser that is used to activate the protons, cause additional noise which impedes the quantum effect.
Linran Fan, a Yale student has developed a potential solution to this problem. In an elegant solution he changed the medium in which the light wave travelled to aluminum nitride and this has had a significant impact by eliminating the “noise.”
Helping your students understand quantum computing is not necessarily an easy task, but helping them develop a surface understanding of the concepts is possible.
Discussing the following questions from the Yale article can help introduce this important engineering/physics innovation to your students. I think it’s especially inspiring that Fan began his interest in this aspect of physics while in high school.
Questions for Discussion
- How was Linran Fan’s solution different than previous solutions?
- What are the limitations with using nonlinear optical effects?
- What is a propagating medium?
- What are common examples of propagating media?
- What is the piezoelectric effect?
- How long did the process of changing the proton’s frequency in the waveguide take?
- How long is a picosecond?
- How will this process impact quantum computing?