A team of researchers of Cnr, Sapienza and Milan Polytechnics has implemented the first models of processors operating with photons, to simulate complex physical phenomena

The researchers of the Physics Department of La Sapienza in Rome, of the Institute for photonics and nanotechnologies of the National Research Council (Ifn-Cnr) and of Milan Polytechnics have implemented what can be defined as micro quantistic laboratory targeted to the study of complex physical phenomena, as first step towards photon processors, which according to the current theories will have unimaginable calculation speed and capability in comparison with standard computers based on silicon processors. The quantistic laboratory is essentially an optical circuit “engraved” inside a glass chip of few centimetres, where the data transmission occurs through photons, then by means of light: the photon propagation leads to realize several interconnections with which it is possible to simulate and to foresee the behaviour of much more complex physical systems. The circuit has been implemented by using ultra-short pulse laser, technology that seems to be able to allow constructing photon microprocessors with high integration degree and with highly innovative three-dimensional architectures. Just to make an example, to simulate the behaviour of various types of particles, the quantistic micro-laboratory has permitted the researchers “to compel” photons to behave, according to the experimental conditions, both as bosons (the class to which photons belong) and as fermions (the class of electrons, protons, neutrons). We are not therefore dealing with a real quantistic computer able to solve any calculation type but rather with a system dedicated to the solution of specific problems connected with particular physical phenomena, towards a target whose achievement will still take a lot of time.


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