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Physicists develop a new quantum computer that uses full range of atoms

There have been many quantum breakthroughs of late, each promising to be key to technology.

In May 2022, a a group of researchers from the University of Innsbruck in Germany, RWTH Aachen University, and Forschungszentrum Jülich research institute proposed a method that could lead to an increase in quantum computers are infallible. It consists of a computational operation that involves two logical quantum bits and can be used for any type of task.

Then, just four days later, sScientists with funding from the Simons Foundation have created a phase of matter that behaves as if it existed in two dimensions and report that the information stored in the strange new phase of matter is much more which is protected against errors than the information stored in the conventional setups used today. in quantum computers.

Breaking the zeros and ones

Now a team at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, has engineered a quantum computer that goes beyond binary information – zeros and ones – and unlocks additional computational resources that have long been hidden from almost everyone. quantum devices today, according to a press release by the institution published Thursday.

“The building blocks of quantum computers, however, are more than zeros and ones,” explains Martin Ringbauer, an experimental physicist from Innsbruck, Austria. “Constricting them to binary systems prevents these tools from living up to their true potential.”

The team has developed a quantum computer that can perform arbitrary calculations using so-called quantum digits (qudits), thereby unlocking more computational power with fewer quantum particles.

Physicists have created a new quantum computer that uses an entire array of atoms
Source: muhammet sager/iStock

How do they do it?

The statement describes it as follows:

“In the Innsbruck quantum computer, (…), the information is stored in the individual trapped atoms of Calcium. Each of these atoms naturally has eight different states, of which usually only two used to store information. In fact, almost all existing quantum computers have access to more quantum states than they use to compute.”

Utilizing the full potential of atoms

By engineering a quantum computer that harnesses the full potential of these atoms, physicists have created a superior computer that can do more while being as reliable as its conventional counterparts. “Quantum systems naturally have more than two states, and we have shown that we can control them equally well,” said Thomas Monz, the team leader of the new study.

What makes this new development even more useful is that many of the tasks that require quantum computers, such as problems in physics, chemistry, or material science, are also naturally expressed in the qudit language.

“Working with more than zeros and ones is very natural, not only for the quantum computer but also for its applications, allowing us to unlock the true potential of quantum systems,” explained Ringbauer.

Could this be the breakthrough that finally seems like quantum computing is reaching its true potential?

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