Indexed on: 28 Sep '07Published on: 28 Sep '07Published in: Nature
As with classical information processing, a quantum information processor requires bits (qubits) that can be independently addressed and read out, long-term memory elements to store arbitrary quantum states, and the ability to transfer quantum information through a coherent communication bus accessible to a large number of qubits. Superconducting qubits made with scalable microfabrication techniques are a promising candidate for the realization of a large-scale quantum information processor. Although these systems have successfully passed tests of coherent coupling for up to four qubits, communication of individual quantum states between superconducting qubits via a quantum bus has not yet been realized. Here, we perform an experiment demonstrating the ability to coherently transfer quantum states between two superconducting Josephson phase qubits through a quantum bus. This quantum bus is a resonant cavity formed by an open-ended superconducting transmission line of length 7 mm. After preparing an initial quantum state with the first qubit, this quantum information is transferred and stored as a nonclassical photon state of the resonant cavity, then retrieved later by the second qubit connected to the opposite end of the cavity. Beyond simple state transfer, these results suggest that a high-quality-factor superconducting cavity could also function as a useful short-term memory element. The basic architecture presented here can be expanded, offering the possibility for the coherent interaction of a large number of superconducting qubits.