Australian scientists make breakthrough on quantum computers

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-2 11:59:59

Australian scientists has made a breakthrough that brings the prospect of a network of ultra- powerful quantum computers -- connected via a quantum internet -- closer to reality, the University of New South Wales (US) said in a statement on Thursday.

The study, published in the journal Nature, is a collaboration between researchers from the ARC Center of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology based at US, the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.

According to the statement, the research team is the first in the world to have detected the spin, or quantum state, of a single atom using a combined optical and electrical approach.

Quantum computers promise to deliver an exponential increase in processing power over conventional computers by using a single electron or nucleus of an atom as the basic processing unit -- a quantum bit, or qubit.

By performing multiple calculations simultaneously, quantum computers could be applied to economic modeling, fast database searches, modeling of biological molecules and drugs, and encryption and decryption of information.

Lead author of the study, US's Dr. Chunming Yin, said the new approach opens up the possibility of using light to couple the atoms, or qubits, together to form a quantum computer.

"Using light to transfer information in the quantum state is easier than doing it electrically. Ultimately this will lead to quantum communications over long distances." Yin said.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, of the Australian National University, said it was a step towards connecting a solid state quantum computer to what will be the quantum internet.

"The quantum internet will allow separate quantum computers to be integrated and it will enable encrypted communications."

Quantum communication systems will become critical for providing secure communications for government, military, defense, finance business and health industries.
Posted in: IT

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