Quantum computers could revolutionize science, but the quantum bits (qubits) they run on are fragile. Being able to manipulate these qubits rapidly, before interactions with their environment cause the quantum information in them to decay, is thus crucial for quantum computations.

A promising way to store a quantum bit is to encode it in the discrete energy levels of light within a quantum resonator such as a superconducting cavity. Manipulating multiple such cavities, however, can be challenging due to spurious interactions or additional error channels that affect the stored quantum information. Researchers from the Yale Quantum Institute in the US have now found a partial solution to this problem by engineering a system that rapidly passes photons from one cavity to another without damaging the photons’ quantum states. This result is an essential step towards fast and high-quality quantum gates for quantum computers based on resonators.

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