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To the general populace, most people don’t actually know much about what a quantum computer is, or what it actually does, besides being extremely small. In truth quantum computers are smaller, allowing them to exploit certain laws of quantum mechanics so as to make calculations at an extremely expedited rate. However, long distance communications between quantum computers has produced a certain road block in the advancement of their use. At the National Insitute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US, scientists are working on a way to bridge the gap between computers, transferring information using photons of light, and fibre optics. The scientists use a quantum dot, a semiconductor version of a single atom, to release single photons typically at an infrared wavelength. Quantum computers store data in devices called quantum memories which prefer photons in the visible spectrum of light, whereas the fibre optics necessary for the information transfer work best using photons with an infrared level of energy. By directing the incoming photons from the fibre optic into a crystal, and then shooting it with a high-energy laser, scientists at the NIST have devised how to reduce the energy of the incoming photons to that of the visible light spectrum. This allows the transfer of data, albeit at a still very rudimentary phase. One of the lead researchers, Matthew Rakher, believes that in the future, they will be able to manipulate the photon wavelength and shape so as to perfectly fit a quantum memory’s preferences, as well as reduce the amount of energy needed to convert them to such a state.