First Quantum Processor Performs Simple Tasks, Illustrates the Concept

Illustration for article titled First Quantum Processor Performs Simple Tasks, Illustrates the Concept

Yale researchers just made the first, albeit simple, quantum processor. The processor is made of two artificial atoms (each made of a billion aluminum atoms) that act like single atoms that can occupy two distinct states.

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But because of the fact that the laws of quantum mechanics are so strange, the qubits (atoms) can be placed into a "superposition of multiple states" in order for them to store more than just the standard amount of information.

Now they're working on adding more qubits, which adds more power on an exponential scale. We're going to be Giz Explaining what's up with quantum computing soon. [TGDaily]

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DISCUSSION

Not 100% accurate, but here's a way to understand a quantum computer: If you've ever heard of the concept that whenever there's some chance, the universe 'splits' and both events occur, that's what's going on. When the quantum computer makes a qubit 1 and 0 at the same time, it basically uses a truly random event to determine which value the bit will be. The universe 'splits' and down one path there is a 1, and down the other there is a 0.

Except the quantum computer 'splits' the universe in such a way that the two universes can interact with each other. It is even possible to have the quantum computer compute something on every input at once and then search through all the different universes to find an answer; this is known as Gover's algorithm.

The critical part is coherence: making sure that the only difference between the different universes is inside the quantum computer itself. So long as coherence is maintained, the universes can merge back together and all you're left with is the right answer (99.99999% of the time). If coherence isn't maintained then the universes can't remerge, and you don't get a correct answer. Decoherence is actually extremely hard to deal with, and the biggest engineering challenge in designing a quantum computer.