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ScienceDaily (June 27, 2010) — An Australian National University-led team has developed the most efficient quantum memory for light in the world, taking us closer to a future of super-fast computers and communication secured by the laws of physics.
Walsh needed someone to help analyze the skull, so she took it to Margaret Sax at the British Museum in London. Sax is an expert on markings from carving and polishing. She examined the tool marks under a powerful scanning electron microscope, just as she had done with another big crystal skull her museum had owned for over a century. It, too, was supposed to be ancient Mexican. But just like the British specimen, Walsh's artifact wasn't authentic. "The tool marks on both the Smithsonian skull and the British Museum skull were clearly produced by wheel cutting," she says, "and so we are able to say they are of post-Columbian date." The marks' shape, depth and surface texture indicated the skulls had been made by rotary tools, and no one in Central or South America was known to have those until Europeans arrived.
TextSo far, successful demonstrations1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of non-classical storage and on-demand recall have used atomic vapours and have been limited to low efficiencies, of less than 17 per cent, using weak quantum states with an average photon number of around one. Here we report a low-noise, highly efficient (up to 69 per cent) quantum memory for light that uses a solid-state medium. The device allows the storage and recall of light more faithfully than is possible using a classical memory, for weak coherent states at the single-photon level through to bright states of up to 500 photons. For input coherent states containing on average 30 photons or fewer, the performance exceeded the no-cloning limit. This guaranteed that more information about the inputs was retrieved from the memory than was left behind or destroyed, a feature that will provide security in communications applications. - Nature