Particles can sometimes act like waves, and photons (particles of light) are no exception. Just as waves create an interference pattern, like ripples on a pond, so do photons. Physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their colleagues have achieved a major new feat—creating a bizarre "quantum" interference between two photons of markedly different colors, originating from different buildings on the University of Maryland campus.

The experiment is an important step for future quantum communications and quantum computing, which could potentially do things that classical computers can't, such as break powerful encryption codes and simulate the behavior of complex new drugs in the body. The interference between two photons could connect distant quantum processors, enabling an internet-like quantum computer network.

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