Raytheon announced on Tuesday that Raytheon BBN Technologies, a subsidiary of Raytheon Intelligence & Space, have published their research regarding, via the academic journal Science, a component called a “Josephson junction,” which is a new method to detect a single photon, or a particle of light.
As a result of the discovery by Raytheon BBN Technologies, scientists are anticipating that quantum processors’ speed will be greatly improved and can be applied to potential applications for sensors, communications and quantum computers.
“In theory, quantum computers can take over where traditional computers would run out of processing power,” said Brad Tousley, president of Raytheon BBN Technologies. “Quantum computing allows for more finite analysis of something like a wing shape than ever before. Fundamental everyday processing optimization is the first problem we’d like to tackle with quantum computing.”
The most jarring limitation in quantum computing has been a “noise problem,” or a background noise that causes qubits to lose memory and creates errors in the processing. However, Kin Chung Fong, a quantum information processing scientist with the company sees the opportunity for significant advancements in quantum capabilities.
“Our new device enables this basic unit in quantum computing to communicate through as little as one photon. It will improve the speed in the communication and can make quantum networking and sensing possible,” said Fong. “We’ve filled a technological void with the first Josephson junction to detect a single photon. It’s an enabling technology for networking, communication and computation. We are really just scratching the surface,” he added.
Raytheon BBN has been providing advanced technology research and development for more than 70 years, often serving as a crucial link between the military and researchers at universities.
“The next step is characterizing performance and scaling up to more than one device in parallel or linking multiple devices,” said Tousley.