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Physicists build 'houses' from light

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Canadian physicists say they have taken a step closer to what they call the "holy grail" of quantum science by building "houses" made of light particles.

University of Calgary researchers said they manipulated a mysterious quantum property of light known as entanglement to mount up to two photons on top of each other, thereby allowing the construction a two-story quantum toy house of any style or architecture.

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"This ability to prepare or control complex quantum objects is considered the holy grail of quantum science" said doctoral student Andrew MacRae, a co-author of the study. "It brings us closer to the onset of the new era of quantum information technology."

The researchers said that new generation of technology is expected to allow qualitatively new capabilities, including measurement instruments of extraordinary sensitivity, dramatically faster computers, secure communication systems and enhanced control over chemical reactions.

"Quantum light is like an ocean and it's full of mysteries and treasures," Professor Alexander Lvovsky, who led the research, said. "Our task is to conquer it. But so far, physicists were able to control only a tiny island in this ocean. What we have done is to make this island bigger."

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The research is reported in the early online edition of the journal Nature Photonics's.

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