A step closer to faster computing

October 27th, 2011 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 27 (IANS) Scientists have overcome a major barrier to quantum computing by getting their different components to chat with one another, just like memory and logic circuits do in existing computers.

Quantum computers are the ones which use the power of atoms to perform memory and processing tasks. They can perform certain calculations faster than the regular computers.

The goal to develop quantum computers to solve problems way beyond the capacity of current ones has egged on scientists to come up with new devices that run these machines.

Many of these tiny devices use particles of light or photons to carry the bits of information that a quantum computer will use, the journal Physical Review Letters reports.

However, these tiny devices frequently create photons of such different characters that they cannot share information with one another.

A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has now shown that it is possible to take photons from two disparate sources and merge them while retaining their basic properties.

The breakthrough opens the way to connecting various types of hardware devices into a single quantum platform, according to a NIST statement.

The team’s achievement also demonstrates for the first time that a “hybrid” quantum computer might be assembled from different hardware types.

“We manipulate the photons to be as indistinguishable as possible in terms of spectra, location and polarisation - the details you need to describe a photon,” says Glenn Solomon of NIST’s Quantum Measurement Division.

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