Feb 21, 2017

A quantum leap for computers

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

More on the QC Blueprint which enables others to use as a reference when building a QC.

According to Prof Winfried Hensinger of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, he and his team have the first practical design for a quantum computer. Like millions of others, I have struggled to come to an understanding of quantum mechanics and how a quantum computer might work.

It would use qubits rather than standard on/off or 1 and 0 bits used in traditional computers. A qubit can have a state of anywhere between zero and one, including all the “states” in between. Theoretically, a quantum computer can perform a very large number of calculations simultaneously using the ideas of super positioning and quantum entanglement. The theory is that all the necessary calculations are carried out at virtually the same time, e.g. working out all the factors of a very large number. This kind of problem can take a regular computer quite a while.

Prof Hensinger claims he has produced a “how to build it” template, published in Science Advances journal, with a scalable construction plan which you can read here: www.advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/2/e1601540.full. It involves ions, long wave radiation, overlapping fields, vacuum chambers and other pieces of exacting technology. To be honest, I have never quite understood how you program in the questions and read the answers from quantum computers.

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