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An international team of researchers has taken a big step closer to creating an optical quantum computer, which has the potential to engineer new drugs and optimise energy-saving methods.

The research team developed the first optical microchip to generate, manipulate and detect a particular state of light
calledsqueezed vacuum, which is essential for quantum computation. An optical microchip has most of the basic functionality required for creating future quantum computers.

Griffith University in Queensland led the project in collaboration with the University of Munster in Germany, The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of New South Wales-Canberra, supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology.

Co-researcher Professor Elanor Huntington, Dean of the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, and program manager for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, was thrilled with this significant advancement.

 "What we have demonstrated with this device is an important technological step towards making an optical quantum computer, which will solve certain problems much faster than today's computers," Professor Huntington said.

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