Our loophole-free Bell test has been awarded the Ehrenfest Prize for best publication on the foundations of quantum mechanics. Below: Tim receiving the certificate from Caslav Brukner in Vienna.
Because quantum states are extremely fragile, large-scale quantum information processing is impossible without quantum error correction. In our latest publication in Nature Communications we realize active quantum error correction based on non-destructive measurements and real time feedback. This experiments marks the first time that quantum states are continuously protected by repeatedly detecting errors and actively corrected through classical logic and real time feedback, essential elements of fault-tolerant quantum computations.
The work was covered by several media, such as the volkskrant, tweakers.net and BNR radio, and even drew the attention of the Dutch royal family! See the videos and cartoon below for a basic explanation of quantum error correction.
Cartoon version of the experiment. (1) A logical quantum bit is encoded in three physical qubits (nuclear spins). (2) Errors are detected through non-destructive stabilizer measurements using an ancilla qubit (electron spin). (3) Errors are corrected through fast real-time feedback. Steps 2 and 3 are repeated in order to continuously protect the quantum state. Image by Wolfgang Pfaff, edited by Julia Cramer.
Our loophole-free Bell test was picked as a top 10 scientific breakthrough of 2015 by the magazine Science. Ultimately we lost out on the number 1 spot to CRISPR, the powerful genome editing technique. In the internet voting by the public, the New Horizons missions images of Pluto took first place, with our Bell test coming in 5th!
Just a few days later Nature selected our experiment as one of the science events that shaped 2015!
The renovation is finished and all three new labs look great (B-56, B-58 and B-60). Next step: constructing the experiments and doing science (after cleaning of course).
Lab warming party:
The before photos:
We think it is quite an improvement!