Scientists have taken a step closer to making multitasking “quantum” computers, more powerful than today’s most advanced supercomputers.
Thank you for reading this post, don’t forget to subscribe!
Quantum computers take advantage of the strange qualities of subatomic particles.
The so-called quantum particles can be in two places at the same time and also strangely connected, even if they are separated by millions of kilometers.
A team at the University of Sussex transferred quantum information between computer chips at record speed and precision.
Computer scientists have been trying to build an efficient quantum computer for more than 20 years. Companies like Google, IBM, and Microsoft have developed simple machines.
in two places at once
Computers today solve problems linearly, one calculation at a time.
In the quantum realm, particles can be in two places at the same time, and researchers want to take advantage of this property to develop computers capable of performing multiple calculations simultaneously.
One problem has been the need to transfer quantum information between chips quickly and reliably: the information degrades and errors are introduced.
But Professor Hensinger’s team has made a breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Communications, that may have cleared that hurdle.
The team has developed a system capable of transporting information from one chip to another with a reliability of 99.999993% at record speeds.
According to the researchers, this shows that, in principle, the chips could be put together to create a more powerful quantum computer.
Professor Michael Cuthbert, director of the newly created National Center for Quantum Computing in Didcot, Oxfordshire and independent of the Sussex research group, called the breakthrough “a really important step.“
However, he specified that it is necessary to continue working to develop practical systems.
“To build the kind of quantum computer that will be needed in the future, you start by connecting chips the size of your thumbnail to something the size of a dinner plate. The Sussex group has shown that stability and speed can be achieved.” necessary to take that step.”
“But then you need a mechanism to connect these dishes and scale a machine, potentially as big as a football field, in order to perform realistic and useful calculations, and the communications technology for that scale is not yet available.“
PhD student Sahra Kulmiya, who conducted the Sussex experiment, said the team is up for the challenge of taking the technology to the next level.
“It’s not just a physics problem anymore,” he told BBC News.”It’s an engineering problem, computer science and also mathematics.“
“It’s hard to say how close we are to realizing quantum computing, but I’m optimistic about how it may become relevant to us in our everyday lives.“
Rolls Royce, one of the UK’s leading engineering companies, is also bullish on this technology. He collaborates with Sussex researchers to develop machines that could help them design even better jet engines.
Powerful supercomputers are used to model airflow in simulations to test new aircraft engine designs.
A quantum computer could, in principle, track airflow with even greater precision and do it fast, according to Professor Leigh Lapworth, who leads quantum computing development for Rolls-Royce.
“Quantum computers could get calculations we can’t do now and others that would take months or years. Being able to do them in days would transform our design systems and lead to even better engines.”
The technology could also be used to design drugs faster by precisely simulating their chemical reactions, a computation too difficult for today’s supercomputers. They could also provide more accurate systems for predicting the weather and projecting the impact of climate change.
Professor Hensinger explains that he had the idea to develop a quantum computer more than 20 years ago.
“People were rolling their eyes and saying, ‘It’s impossible.’”
“And when people tell me something can’t be done, I love to try. So I’ve spent the last 20 years removing the barriers one by one to a point where a practical quantum computer can now be built.“
take from: https://www.bbc.com/