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Putting the Squeeze on Quantum Information

By Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

September 29, 2014

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Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) researchers have demonstrated that information stored in quantum bits can be exponentially compressed without losing data, a breakthrough they say is an important proof of principle, which could be useful for efficient quantum communications and information storage.

"Our proposal gives you a way to hold onto a smaller quantum memory but still have the possibility of extracting as much information at a later date as if you'd held onto them all in the first place," says CIFAR's Aephraim M. Steinberg.

In an experiment, the researchers prepared quantum bits (qubits) in the form of photons, which conveyed information in the form of their spin and in their path. The researchers showed the compression would scale exponentially, meaning it would require only 10 qubits to store all of the information in about 1,000 qubits, and just 20 qubits to store all of the information in about a million qubits.

"This work sheds light on some of the striking differences between information in the classical and quantum worlds," Steinberg says. "It also promises to provide an exponential reduction in the amount of quantum memory needed for certain tasks."

From Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
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