Mar 23, 2021

Novel thermometer can accelerate quantum computer development

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, have developed a novel type of thermometer that can simply and quickly measure temperatures during quantum calculations with extremely high accuracy. The breakthrough provides a benchmarking tool for quantum computing of great value—and opens up for experiments in the exciting field of quantum thermodynamics.

Key components in quantum computers are coaxial cables and waveguides—structures that guide waveforms and act as the vital connection between the and the classical electronics that control it. Microwave pulses travel along the waveguides to the quantum processor, and are cooled down to extremely along the way. The also attenuates and filters the pulses, enabling the extremely sensitive quantum computer to work with stable quantum states.

In order to maximize control over this mechanism, the researchers need to be sure that these waveguides are not carrying noise due to thermal motion of electrons on top of the pulses that they send. In other words, they have to measure the temperature of the electromagnetic fields at the cold end of the microwave waveguides, the point where the controlling pulses are delivered to the computer’s qubits. Working at the lowest possible temperature minimizes the risk of introducing errors in the qubits.

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