Army Scientist Seeks Enhanced Soldier Systems Through Quantum Research

A topological source of quantum light

A green laser on optical table in a quantum optics laboratory is an example of how scientists use light to potentially lead to futuristic secure communications. (source: ARL)

December 17, 2018 | Source: Army Research Laboratory, arl.army.mil, 1 Nov 2018, ARL Public Affairs

Researchers at the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Research Laboratory and the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have created a pristine quantum light source that has the potential to lead to more secure communications and enhanced sensing capabilities for Soldiers.

RDECOM Research Laboratory's Dr. Elizabeth Goldschmidt and JQI's Dr. Sunil Mittal and Prof. Mohammad Hafezi discuss this research in their paper, titled "A topological source of quantum light," that is featured in the journal Nature.

Photons, the smallest amount of light that exists, are useful when it comes to carrying quantum information, which can be used for encryption to avoid interception from adversaries and enhanced sensitivity to the environment.

According to the researchers, one major part of the puzzle is that the photons must be undisturbed and as similar as possible in order for secure communications and Soldier systems to operate at the highest quality.

The research team has successfully developed a silicon chip that guides light around the device's edge, where it is protected from disruptions.

"Quantum sources, such as the one demonstrated in our research, are an enabling technology for integrated photonics-based scalable quantum networks and quantum information systems that require indistinguishable photons," Goldschmidt said.