Archive for February 28th, 2012
Scientists at IBM Research have achieved major advances in quantum computing device performance that may accelerate the realization of a practical, full-scale quantum computer.
For specific applications, quantum computing, which exploits the underlying quantum mechanical behavior of matter, has the potential to deliver computational power that is unrivaled by any supercomputer today.
Follow the IBM Research blog for coverage to learn more about breakthroughs from IBM scientists.
Quantum computing has been a Holy Grail for researchers ever since Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, in 1981, challenged the scientific community to build computers based on quantum mechanics. For decades, the pursuit remained firmly in the theoretical realm. But now IBM scientists believe they’re on the cusp of building systems that will take computing to a whole new level.
Using a variety of techniques in the IBM labs, scientists have established three new records for reducing errors in elementary computations and retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits (qubits) – the basic units that carry information within quantum computing.
IBM has chosen to employ superconducting qubits, which use established microfabrication techniques developed for silicon technology, providing the potential to one day scale up to and manufacture thousands or millions of qubits.
IBM researchers will be presenting their latest results today at the annual American Physical Society meeting taking place February 27-March 2, 2012 in Boston, Mass.
The Possibilities of Quantum Computing
The special properties of qubits will allow quantum computers to work on millions of computations at once, while desktop PCs can typically handle minimal simultaneous computations.
For example, a single 250-qubit state contains more bits of information than there are atoms in the universe.
These properties will have wide-spread implications foremost for the field of data encryption where quantum computers could factor very large numbers like those used to decode and encode sensitive information.
Other potential applications for quantum computing may include searching databases of unstructured information, performing a range of optimization tasks and solving previously unsolvable mathematical problems.