Take one atom of the element antimony, use an ion beam to shoot it into a silicon substrate, and you just may be on your way to building a working quantum computer. That's according to researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, who announced this week that they've used that technique with promising results. In their experiment, described in the journal Applied Physics Letters, the researchers used an ion beam generator to insert the antimony atom into an industry-standard silicon substrate -- a process that took just microseconds. That atom, equipped with five electrons, carries one more than a silicon atom does. Because electrons pair up, the odd antimony electron remains free.
Engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have created a new quantum bit (qubit) which remains in a stable superposition for 10 times longer than previously achieved, expanding the time during which calculations could be performed in a future silicon quantum computer. According to Arne Laucht, a Research Fellow at the School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications at UNSW, the new qubit, made up of the spin of a single atom in silicon and merged with an electromagnetic field -- known as a dressed qubit -- retains quantum information for much longer that an "undressed" atom, which opens up new avenues quantum computer creation. The Australian-based team said the race to building a quantum computer has been called the "space race of the 21st century" as it is both a difficult and ambitious challenge to undertake. The appeal, however, is the potential to deliver revolutionary tools for tackling otherwise impossible calculations, such as the design of complex drugs and advanced materials, or the rapid search of large-scale, unsorted databases. Explaining the importance of the breakthrough, Andrea Morello, leader of the research team and a Program Manager in the Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology (CQC2T) at UNSW, said its speed and power lies in the fact that quantum systems can host multiple "superpositions" of different initial states, treated as inputs in a computer that all get processed at the same time.
Tiny quantum computers capable of performing calculations 100 million times faster than conventional computers have already been made. But scientists are having trouble scaling up these systems to a useful size for applications such as artificial intelligence (AI). Now scientists have developed the first ever'quantum bridge', which could link lots of small quantum computers together. The discovery opens up the potential to create more powerful AI systems through the development of quantum computing. Scientists have developed the first ever'quantum bridge', which could link lots of small quantum computers together.
The University of Sydney has been awarded a slice of a multimillion dollar research grant from the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence to advance its research in quantum computing. The undisclosed funding chunk will be injected into the Quantum Control Laboratory, which is led out of the university's month-old AU 150 million Sydney Nanoscience Hub. Additionally, an international consortium which includes the University of Sydney has also been selected by the US government-led LogiQ program to help deliver a logical quantum-bit (qubit) based on trapped ions. The LogiQ program is an initiative run by US government agency the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, which is seeking creative technical solutions to the challenge of encoding imperfect physical qubits into a logical qubit, with a quibit forming the foundations for quantum computing. According to Sydney University's associate professor Michael Biercuk, a logical qubit is considered a holy grail in quantum information.