Print 29 comment(s) - last by Hong Liang.. on Oct 18 at 5:18 PM

Artist's rendition of the NIST superconducting quantum computing cable.  (Source: NIST, Michael Kemper)
Scientists make a “buzz” in superconducting quantum computing

Quantum computers are thought to be the future of computing as we know it. Super powerful in comparison to even the latest supercomputers, they could be used to crack heavy encryption, search giant databases in seconds, optimize complex systems and solve complex mathematical computations.

The basis of the superconducting quantum computer lies in the qubit, or quantum bit. Able, thanks to the fuzzy laws of quantum mechanics, to carry both what we think of as the 0 and 1 of binary systems concurrently, qubits could allow many more calculations  to be carried out simultaneously than the systems we're familiar with.

Qubits are old news, but scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have now successfully transferred data from one qubit to another by means of a microfabricated aluminum cable. The setup, resembling something like a cable television transmission system, consists of two qubits fabricated on a sapphire microchip connected by the seven millimeter resonant micro cable, packed into an eight cubic millimeter shielded box. The cable, about the width of a human hair, zig-zags through the enclosure between the two qubits and can be tuned to a frequency in the microwave range.

The system works by simple resonance manipulation. Qubit A is forced to a superposition of the 0 and 1 states by applying to it a microwave pulse of a certain power, frequency and duration. A voltage pulse then puts qubit A on the same frequency as the resonant cable, thus allowing the transfer of the information from the qubit to the cable in the form of microwave energy. Then qubit A is tuned away from the resonance frequency and qubit B is tuned to it. The information travels from the cable to qubit B after which qubit B is also tuned away. Finally, both qubits are measured simultaneously which forces each bit to choose a 0 or 1 state.

While the results closely resembled what the NIST scientists were expecting, imperfections in the fabrication and imprecise measurements in quantum states made it difficult to assess the transfer error rate and overall quality of the quantum bus. Further refinement of the overall system, materials, designs, and electronics should allow them to quantify error rates associated with the quantum bus and enable them to develop methods for correction.

A group at Yale has also recently used the bus to enable the interaction of two qubits to create a combined superposition state. This, along with the NIST scientists' results has demonstrated three of the basic functions required in superconductor-based quantum information processing.

Both NIST and Yale have published results in the September 27 issue of Nature.

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Quantum Computers
By Jaeger87 on 10/3/2007 5:56:53 AM , Rating: 4
My goal in life is to one day own and/or operate a quantum computer.

How cool is this! These things will unlock the ability to process superhuman intelligence and maybe even run Crysis at 1900x1200 with anti-aliasing!

RE: Quantum Computers
By Silver2k7 on 10/3/2007 6:07:14 AM , Rating: 2
I think you will have to wait for Crysis 2 or 3 and perhaps a 4K HD display with 4520 x 2540 pixels :P

These things are far from solved.. unless some secret underground lab has one fully working ;)

RE: Quantum Computers
By FITCamaro on 10/3/2007 6:58:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't doubt the CIA has one working or at least in development. I hope to god if we ever manage to create one we never sell them to anyone. The design should become a state secret. I fear China ever getting their hands on one of these.

RE: Quantum Computers
By SpaceRanger on 10/3/2007 9:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
Who's to say China isn't further along in developing one than the US is?

RE: Quantum Computers
By Master Kenobi on 10/3/2007 9:37:17 AM , Rating: 5
Not likely. China doesn't develop very much that is original, however they are excellent Copycats. Kind of like Japan was 30ish years ago. China hasn't deployed anything new and unique in a long long time, its all copies with modifications of existing products from other countries.

RE: Quantum Computers
By wushuktl on 10/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: Quantum Computers
By clovell on 10/3/2007 11:01:08 AM , Rating: 4
China has refused to help the UN sanction an increasingly threatening and nuclear Iran.

Excellent example of such a type of comment. Bravo.

RE: Quantum Computers
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/3/2007 4:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
that's exactly how china has kept the peace. It is obvious that china will not accept another iraq-style regime change in Iran. Otherwise it would have happened by now. However, if china wants taiwan badly enough, that could change!

RE: Quantum Computers
By masher2 on 10/3/2007 11:05:47 AM , Rating: 4
> "What has China done recently to any other countries that has been particularly harmful?"

You mean besides brutally invading and continuing to opress Tibet? Or threatening Taiwan with military action, while continuing to pile up 1,000 missiles aimed directly at the tiny island nation?

RE: Quantum Computers
By Topweasel on 10/3/2007 11:06:34 AM , Rating: 2
Its not about How much better we are, its about it being our tech that we developed to hold onto with dear life. Like the F-22. It gives us an advantage that as the developers we have the right to have.

RE: Quantum Computers
By Chocobollz on 10/4/2007 5:39:43 AM , Rating: 1
Well, our fellow Americans prolly think that they're the greatest and the most advanced human race in this world so they think that if they have discovered something very good, it shall not be shared to any other human race which they felt inferior to them or, the others could take it but have to pay a lot of money and that's have to be in U.S. dollars :)

RE: Quantum Computers
By jskirwin on 10/4/2007 10:52:45 AM , Rating: 1
What has China done recently to any other countries that has been particularly harmful?

Let's take two countries: Sudan and Burma aka Myanmar
The United States, Japan and others have turned a hopeful eye on China — Myanmar's biggest trading partner — as the most likely outside catalyst for change.

But China, India and Russia do not seem prepared to go beyond words in their dealings with the junta, ruling out sanctions as they jostle for a chance to get at Myanmar's bountiful and largely untapped natural resources, especially its oil and gas.


For four long years, China was a major, if not the chief obstacle to international efforts to bring security to Darfur. Beijing blocked, vetoed or diluted resolutions at the U.N. Security Council that would have authorized a protection operation or sanctions on Khartoum for continued intransigence.


In both cases China is supporting genocidal regimes in exchange for oil.

RE: Quantum Computers
By Spuke on 10/3/2007 1:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
The CIA wouldn't be the agency that would develop or need such a computer. The NSA would be the one's to develop and use this technology.

In other news
By pheffern on 10/3/2007 7:10:50 AM , Rating: 5
Shortly after the discovery went public, Monster Cable announced that they will release a KEVLAR SHIELDED, FERRITE CORE edition of the Quantum cable, designed to prevent QUANTUM INTERFERENCE from SCRAMBLING YOUR QUBITS.

They've yet to announce a price, but analysts suggest it will be roughly eight times reasonable market price..

RE: In other news
By HighWing on 10/3/2007 1:00:04 PM , Rating: 1
Monster Cable FTW!!!

LOL thanks for the best laugh of the day

RE: In other news
By onelittleindian on 10/3/2007 10:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
+6 for this one...

RE: In other news
By decapitator666 on 10/8/2007 1:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
I bow my head to you sir...

RE: In other news
By aethyrmaster on 10/18/2007 6:34:19 AM , Rating: 2
That's definitely worth a laugh or three.

at what speed?
By air4ce on 10/3/2007 5:56:09 AM , Rating: 1
how fast?? quantum entanglement is supposed to copy the state instantly

RE: at what speed?
By masher2 on 10/3/2007 11:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the states are being transferred normally, not via entanglement.

RE: at what speed?
By GhandiInstinct on 10/3/2007 12:41:55 PM , Rating: 1
lol quantum entanglement?

These cables don't create wormholes.

In theory, you'll get a simultaneous reaction from two atoms potentially light years away :)

So no, I don't think this will be the same thing.

RE: at what speed?
By masher2 on 10/3/2007 1:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
QE has nothing to do with wormholes. Its very easy to generate entangled particle pairs....a couple highly-sychronized lasers is all you really need.

By clovell on 10/3/2007 11:02:53 AM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that aluminum cables sustained a relatively low bandwidth. Was I mistaken or was there some other reason they used aluminum?

RE: Aluminum
By Whedonic on 10/3/2007 1:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
That's in terms of electrical signals. I guess aluminum is useful for transmitting microwave resonance?

Ignorant people
By acer905 on 10/3/2007 7:35:18 AM , Rating: 1
There are probably a lot of people out there that would hear "microwave range" and either instantly fear it cause it uses radiation, which is evil. Or would think its some sort of kitchen appliance used to cook food.

That being said, this is some pretty cool stuff. My estimate, 5 years for the people in Eureka to have one up and runnin lol.

RE: Ignorant people
By geddarkstorm on 10/3/2007 5:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
lol, too bad visible light is radiation all the same as microwaves, just a different frequency. Ah, the media has a good way of creating meaningless hype.

One Word
By TimberJon on 10/3/2007 12:44:54 PM , Rating: 2

I want one
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/4/2007 2:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. I want one, with a hard disk made by Quantum and all that.

Oh, wait... Quantum is not making hard disks any longer. I'd better cancel my HP Quant-Entongued Flysheep IV preorder, as I'm sure a quantum computer needs a Quantum hard disk to work properly.

Sorry to leave the post like this, but I have to archive myself in a solid RAR file right now before anyone descrambles me.

English2UnreadableUnscrambableQuantumProof Code -- Cobra to Panic Attack, Cobra to Panic Attack, they know about the wormhole factory! They're too many and look like... yellow!!! Abort, abort!!

Quantum CPU
By Hong Liang on 10/18/2007 5:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
We use Laser Etching to produce Quantum CPU perfectly.

Hong Liang

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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