Dissipation: A New Tool in Quantum Information Science
Quantum Entanglement, the most striking feature of Quantum Mechanics, is also the basic ingredient in most applications in the field of Quantum Information. Unfortunately, it is very fragile: in all experiments so far the coupling of the systems to the environment has leads to dissipation which either destroys entanglement or prevents its generation. Here we propose, analyze, and demonstrate a new method to entangle two distant macroscopic atomic ensembles by purely dissipative means. This counter intuitive effect is achieved by engineering the coupling of our systems to the environment, and leads to a more robust and therefore longer lived entanglement. Apart from that, we show that engineered dissipation can be used in quantum computation and communication, as well as to create passive quantum memories and repeaters.