Future computers will perform unthinkable calculations

July 24th, 2011 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 24 (IANS) Future computers will perform complex calculations unthinkable for existing models with scientists tweaking a mechanism to process and transmit data at phenomenally high speeds.

Future computers will exploit the mind-bending properties of quantum particles, a mode of computing that relies on quantum bits or qubits, encoding information as ones and zeros.

While a bit can represent either a one or a zero, a qubit can represent both one and zero simultaneously, a state known as superposition.

This allows for instantaneous processing of calculations in a truly parallel system, skyrocketing computing ability, the journal Nature magazine reports.

Using intense magnetic fields, Susumu Takahashi, assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College and colleagues managed to suppress decoherence, a key stumbling block in quantum computing.

Decoherence, described as a “quantum bug,” knocks quantum particle out of superposition, the ability to exist simultaneously in one and zero states, which has delayed the creation of a fully functional quantum computer, says a Southern California release.

Researchers figured out that qubits function optimally when decoherence is reduced by 1,000 times, something which crystalline molecular magnets helped Takahashi accomplish.

“This will obviously increase signals from the qubit drastically, so the detection of the qubit in the molecular magnets is much easier,” Takahashi said.

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