A team of scientists from the University of Heidelberg (Germany), the Technical University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Science and Technology of China for the first time has succeeded in buffering a quantum bit during its transmission. The achievement could be used for the construction of quantum repeaters and perhaps, eventually, to build a memory for a quantum computer.
The team succeeded in storing the quantum bit while performing an experimental transmittal of an unknown quantum state, a spokesperson of the group explained. Hitherto, it was not possible to store and read out a quantum state.
During the experiment, the scientists transferred the state of a photon to what they called an atomic quantum store. In this atomic ensemble, the state was stored for 8 microseconds before it was read out again and transferred to a photon.