Home Breakthrough in Quantum Computing

Breakthrough in Quantum Computing

Researchers have made a significant breakthrough on the road to quantum computing. Quantum computing is the use, largely theoretical so far, of quantum mechanical operations to move information. If it works, it will be history-alteringly fast, which explains IBM’s five year mission to do just that.

But to make it work, engineers will need to make quantum teleportation succeed on a large scale. Quantum teleportation is the instantaneous relocation of coded energy from one place to another. If it sounds as fanciful as a trip to Oz, well, it’s funny you should mention it.

Professor Elanor Huntington, of the University of New South Wales was part of a team led by University of Tokyo researchers who have successfully completed a quantum teleportation of a complex quantum data set, a wave packet. Something about a cat.

According to Professor Huntington:

“One of the limitations of high-speed quantum communication at present is that some detail is lost during the teleportation process. It’s the Star Trek equivalent of beaming the crew down to a planet and having their organs disappear or materialise in the wrong place. We’re talking about information but the principle is the same – it allows us to guarantee the integrity of transmission….The value of this discovery is that it allows us, for the first time, to quickly and reliably move quantum information around…This process means we will be able to move blocks of quantum information around within a computer or across a network, just as we do now with existing computer technologies”

Or, as she told Australia’s ABC News, “There used to be two ways of doing teleportation and both had their limitations. One was quite fast, but had a limited probability of succeeding. The other way of doing it was quite slow, but had a very good probability of working. What we’ve done is managed to get it both fast and good quality.”

These successful experiments were led by Professor Akira Furusawa in a “teleporter” at a laboratory at the University of Tokyo’s Department of Applied Physics. The results were published in Science.

Schroedinger by Tristram Biggs.

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