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D-Wave's 16 qubit quantum computer is the pride of current quantum computers   (Source: D-Wave)
A team from Australia suggests that not only will ternary data be helpful in the budding field of quantum computing, but practically necessary

Generations of computer scientists grew up under the notion that ternary computing was just around the corner. Modern computers store information in a binary system, a logical representation of true and false.  Ternary computing, on the other hand, stores information as a representation of false, null and true; 0, 1, 2 or -1, 0 and 1. 

Computer storage methods going back to punch cards made binary computing methods sensible.  When storage moved to magnetic and transistor-based alternatives, the binary system continued to flourish -- and any reason to switch to a ternary system was nonessential with prolific and scalable storage.

But with the advent of quantum computing, ternary computing has a new cause.  Universal quantum logic gates, the building blocks of infant quantum computing, require hundreds of gates in order to complete any useful work.  D-Wave's quantum computer, announced last year, consists of only 16 qubits -- just enough for a controlled NOT gate. 

It's an inevitability that quantum computers will continue to scale, even based on current technologies. In the meantime a team lead by University of Queensland's B. P. Lanyon proposed a new method to scale quantum computers faster by exploiting the well researched fields of ternary computing.

The modern representation of true or false can be expressed as a bit.  The quantum computing equivalent of a bit is dubbed a qubit.  Traditional computers that store data in ternary operations are dubbed trits; the quantum equivalent is called a qutrit.

What makes Lanyon's method truly innovative is that by using qutrits for universal quantum gates instead of qubits, researchers can reduce the number gates needed in a computer significantly. 

Lanyon proposes that a computer that would traditionally take 50 conventional quantum gates could use as few as 9 gates using the ternary method. 

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By DerwenArtos12 on 4/7/2008 3:19:01 AM , Rating: 2
Why is it that quantum computing topics seem to always turn into discussions of quantum mechanics?

Time travel will never exist for the sole purpose that you cannot change the past without irreparably changing the future away from the future in which making the time travel backwards was even necessary therefore negating the travel and creating a temporal paradox.

On the flip side, nothing wrong with traveling to the future, you just can't go back from whence you came because the knowledge gained from the future will change the present so that future to which you went will no longer exist so the knowledge gained will be essentially useless in the new future.

Take the back to the future movie. When the book traveled from the future to the past that changed the present, with the changed present comes a changed future, in that changed future, the book may not have even been written, let alone in that shop window where he could buy and subsequently throw away the book, let alone the fact that the changed bif would not have been there had everything else still gone the same way.

Lets not forget that the whole idea of tearing the space-time continuum is just an all around bad idea regardless of whether or not so much as an atom travels from one time to another, we have no way of even guessing at the repercussions of the mere existence of the tear itself.

By KristopherKubicki on 4/7/2008 12:30:11 PM , Rating: 3
Well, paradoxes aside it does seem possible that you can open up a wormhole with a device -- and possibly send data through it. The only problem is that you can only communicate with future you that has the same device open. Also the amount of energy seems to be a problem (seriously unfathomable amounts of energy).

But, Einstein and others have proposed it possible.

By m104 on 4/8/2008 3:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
I dont buy that whole "because you change something that created you, you cannot exist" - organisms just dont work that way. I also think meeting yourself would be possible, given that time travel is possible that is....

By callmeroy on 4/8/2008 10:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
I find the topics of time travel and creation and really the universe as a whole as the most interesting ones I can think of. It just boggles my mind -- time travel. Creation -- relgious beliefs aside, how the hell does something come from nothing? Or was there really always something, but then how did that something become something in the first place? And the mess of part of it all is it must "work" because alas here we are living and breathing....

Anyway I read a book on time travel and the great minds all actually say it is possible in "theory" the largest problem would actually be the sums of energy needed would be near infathomable to comprehend. I mean in this book they are talking on the order of energy equivalent to the Sun.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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