Yale Researchers Create First Ever, Two-Qubit Quantum Processor
June 29, 2009
(ChattahBox)—A team of Yale theoretical physicists has developed the first ever solid-state quantum processor that is capable of running elementary algorithms. The two-qubit super conducting chip brings researchers one step closer to the creation of the next generation super quantum computer.
Lead researchers, Robert Schoelkopf, the William A. Norton Professor of Applied Physics & Physics and Steven Girvin, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics & Applied Physics, manufactured two artificial qubits that can function as a solid-state device to process information and solve problems.
The dream of someday performing complicated algorithms more efficiently and faster using advanced quantum mechanical properties, is not yet a reality, but the team of physicists at Yale are taking a step-by-step approach, finding success in small accomplishments in a qubit that lasts only a microsecond.
Previous qubits or artificial atoms were only able to maintain a quantum state for a mere nanosecond, so the Yale researchers were able to create a quantum bit that lasts a thousand times longer.
Each qubit is made up of a billion aluminum atoms, which performs like a single atom that can occupy two different energy states. A standard computer holds single bits of memory in a single state, with each bit only capable of storing either a one or a zero.
Scientists can use super qubits in a “superposition” of multiple states at the same time, which can store more information and powerful processing functions. The two mechanical qubits solve problems by communicating with one another through connecting wires, transmitting photons on a “quantum bus.”
Although, the two connected qubits can only process basic algorithms, the researchers have great hopes to create and link up additional qubits in the future. The researchers also plan to develop qubits that can last longer than the current microsecond.
“The processing power increases exponentially with each qubit, so the potential for more advanced quantum computing is enormous,” said Schoelkopf.
The breakthrough quantum processor research is outlined in Nature’s latest online publication.