Quantum maze in Nature Communications!

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F. Caruso, A. Crespi, A. G. Ciriolo, F. Sciarrino, R. Osellame, Fast escape of a quantum walker from an integrated photonic maze, Nature Communications 7, 11682 (2016)

Escaping from a complex maze, by exploring different paths with several decision-making branches in order to reach the exit, has always been a very challenging and fascinating task. Wave field and quantum objects may explore a complex structure in parallel by interference effects, but without necessarily leading to more efficient transport. Here, inspired by recent observations in biological energy transport phenomena, we demonstrate how a quantum walker can efficiently reach the output of a maze by partially suppressing the presence of interference. In particular, we show theoretically an unprecedented improvement in transport efficiency for increasing maze size with respect to purely quantum and classical approaches. In addition, we investigate experimentally these hybrid transport phenomena, by mapping the maze problem in an integrated waveguide array, probed by coherent light, hence successfully testing our theoretical results. These achievements may lead towards future bio-inspired photonics technologies for more efficient transport and computation.

See also:

Press release by the University of Florence

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