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April 2014 • The PCB Design Magazine 63 CliCk To View Video Interview Dale hanzelka, north Ameri- can sales manager for inter- cept Technology, discusses a variety of new features that have been added to the Pantheon design tool suite. Intercept Adds Capabilities to Pantheon by Real Time with... The Design Forum For years, researchers have been interested in developing quantum computers—the theo- retical next generation of technology that will outperform conventional computers. instead of holding data in bits, the digital units used by computers today, quantum computers store in- formation in units called "qubits." One approach for computing with qubits relies on the creation of two single photons that interfere with one another in a device called a waveguide. results from a recent applied science study at Caltech support the idea that waveguides coupled with another quantum particle, the surface plasmon, could also become an important piece of the quantum computing puzzle. The work was published in the print version of the journal nature Photonics. As their name suggests, surface plasmons ex- ist on a surface--in this case the surface of a met- al, at the point where the metal meets the air. "if you imagine the surface of a metal is like a sea of electrons, then surface plasmons are the ripples or waves on this sea," says graduate stu- dent Jim Fakonas, first author on the study. however, the plasmon's odd behavior, which falls somewhere between that of an electron and that of a photon, makes it difficult to char- acterize. Because plasmons are very lossy--that is, easily absorbed into materials that surround them--the path is kept short, contained within a 10-micron-square chip, which reduces absorp- tion along the way. indeed, the experiment confirmed that two indistin- guishable photons can be con- verted into two indistinguish- able surface plasmons that, like photons, display quantum inter- ference. Quantum Photon Properties Revealed in Another Particle

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