Skip to comments.Computers set for quantum leap
Posted on 09/16/2010 4:43:02 PM PDT by AU72
A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond todays devices.
Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want. EDITORS CHOICE Making sense of a nonsensical world - Sep-16 Fears over computers impact on lives - Sep-14 Brain scan breakthrough for children - Sep-14
An early application will be to investigate and design complex molecules, such as new drugs and other materials, that cannot be simulated with ordinary computers. More general consumer applications should follow.
Jeremy OBrien, director of the UKs Centre for Quantum Photonics, who led the project, said many people in the field had believed a functional quantum computer would not be a reality for at least 25 years.
However, we can say with real confidence that, using our new technique, a quantum computer could, within five years, be performing calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers, he told the British Science Festival, as he presented the research.
Computings great leap forward
Why quantum computing?
To make use of properties that emerge on an ultra-small scale. Entanglement the ability of subatomic particles to influence one another at a distance and superposition the fact that a particle does not have a definite location and can be in several places at once are the two most important properties.
Yes, its weird but why is it useful?
Because quantum particles can do very many things at the same time, unlike an electronic bit in conventional computing. The use of quantum particles, or qubits, permits parallel computing on a scale that would not be possible with conventional electronics.
What particles are you talking about?
Many scientists are working with atoms or ions trapped in ultra-cold conditions. But the latest discovery by the Bristol-led team uses photons light particles.
How does a quantum chip actually work?
There are several models. The Bristol version sends entangled photons down networks of circuits in a silicon chip. The particles perform a co-ordinated quantum walk, whose outcome represents the results of a calculation. Of course, special software and input-output devices will have to be developed to make practical use of the device.
The breakthrough, published today in the journal Science, means data can be processed according to the counterintuitive rules of quantum physics that allow individual subatomic particles to be in several places at the same time.
This property will enable quantum computers to process information in quantities and at speeds far beyond conventional supercomputers. But formidable technical barriers must be overcome before quantum computing becomes practical.
The team, from Bristol university in the UK, Tohuku university in Japan, Weizmann Institute in Israel and Twente university in the Netherlands, say they have overcome an important barrier, by making a quantum chip that can work at ordinary temperatures and pressures, rather than the extreme conditions required by other approaches.
The immense promise of quantum computing has led governments and companies worldwide to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the field.
Big spenders, including the US defence and intelligence agencies concerned with the national security issues, and governments such as Canada, Australia and Singapore see quantum electronics as the foundation for IT industries in the mid-21st century.
"How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all?"
Firesign Theatre circa 1970
Don`t make light of this but Obummer was in Kenya, Hawaii and Indonesia all at the same time.
..so he’s like, . . . a clone?
” Computers set for quantum leap “
And Windows will still take 5 minutes to boot-up in the morning....
Yeah but will that keep FR from crashing ;-)
"This property will enable quantum computers to process information in quantities and at speeds far beyond conventional supercomputers. But formidable technical barriers must be overcome before quantum computing becomes practical."
Of course, special software and input-output devices will have to be developed to make practical use of the device.
i definitely need a machine running 10x speed.
“in two places at once....”
If the chip in question also reports itself and its activities to 0bama’s cyber data warehouse, perhaps? DOJ? HHS? Homeland Security?
That’s 4 places. Then, there’s your PC.
So, maybe I’ll be able to run my Microsoft Flight Simulator X with the sliders all the way up?
“No matter where you go, there you are.”
Buckaroo Banzai, 1984
The ultra fast processors hasn’t improved my typing speed at all.
Heh, doubt it.....(still FS9 for me)
Wonder what they'll do with the next version???
I can see it now. It’s 2018 and I’m testing out my iPad-7. I download the bootleg 256 bit decryption app and then use it on a file that has been floating around the net for a few years. That file is marked SECRET - OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE, PASSPORT AND SCHOOL RECORDS - ENCRYPTED.
Seconds later the decrypted filles pop up on the screen and I start to read ...
Yes, software usually lags behind hardware, but this is a bit much...;o)
“Can I get Duluth?”
we had chips that ran so fast there were few people who could utilize their capacity in a manner that anyone without an mit hyper intellect could even fathom.
the potential of these electronic based devices were beyond most in the 80’s. lightspeed will be something for those still trying to figure out those old 565 lead electronic dinosaurs to loose yet more sleep over.
i still can not figure out how to cut and paste on this unit.
the answer lies in the software. unfortunately most coders are nonhuman, relating to the device more than their fellow idiot (me) being.