Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Getting Closer to Quantum Computers

Wired - 3.29.13 by Klint Finley

Photo: Wylie/Flickr
Quantum computing — widely called the holy grail of tech research — has taken another step towards reality, thanks to a group of researchers at Yale University. The team recently developed a new way to change the quantum state of photons, the elementary particles researchers hope to use for quantum memory.

Today’s computers store information as bits, where each bit holds either a “1″ or a “0.” But a quantum computer is built around quantum bits, or qubits, that can store a 1, a 0 or any combination of both 1 and 0 at the same time. For example, a qubit could be 90 percent “0″ and 10 percent “1.”

So far, all we’ve seen are some proofs of concept that can do simple calculations, but a full-blown quantum computer consisting of many qubits would be able to perform complex calculations far outside the limits of even the most powerful of today’s supercomputers.

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