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Quantum of solace no longer – photon clusters make quantum computing imminent

If you thought – like most of the scientific community – that quantum computers using photons of light for calculations were half a century away, then think again.

Scientists at Japan’s NTT and Osaka University have made a breakthrough in so-called cluster-state quantum computing that promises real-world machines of immense power within 20 years.

If that means little, then consider this – according to the Nikkei:

“’It looks like the quantum computer will debut sooner that I expected,’ stated David Deutsch, the University of Oxford physicist who first demonstrated the possibility of quantum computing.”

The piece goes on to explain the basics of quantum computing, qubits and photons, but the nub of the matter is right here:

“In cluster-state quantum computing, the photons that serve as qubits are not ‘connected’ but rather ‘entagled.’ A property of photons known as quantum entanglement is used to build a network, or cluster, of photons.

“The photons appear to be just a jumble with no kind of connection, but when the data from one photon is read or altered, the information crosses space in a phenomenon known as teleportation to other photons, altering the state of the entire cluster. This process forms the basis to the conduction of computations in cluster-state quantum computing.”

So far, the team has built a cluster of just four photons and successfully teleported computation results between pairs. The next step will be crucial as the group scales things up ands stands back to see what happens. That should be really interesting.

(Via Nikkei [Subscription link])

12:09 AM JMLH • Permalink
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