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Researchers use a pair of entangled photons and fiber strands to create basic quantum computer

Researcher Prem Kumar, the AT&T Professor of Information Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the director of the Center for Photonic Communication and Computing, and his research team are now one step closer to making quantum computers a reality.

Kumar and his team have demonstrated a basic building block of a quantum computer using entangled photons generated in optical fibers. Kumar says, “Because it is done with fiber and the technology that is already globally deployed, we think that it is a significant step in harnessing the power of quantum computers.”

With the computers we use today, data is processed in bits that consist of ones and zeros, or on and off states. In quantum computing, quantum bits, also known as qubits, are used that can exist in a one or zero state as well as a third state known as a “superposition.” This superposition is where a quantum computer gets the huge performance gains over current, traditional computers. The superposition allows the qubit to be both a one and zero simultaneously allowing the computer to process more information, much faster than computers today can.

Kumar and his team used a pair of photons and have been able to entangle the pair of photons in an optical fiber using the fiber’s nonlinear response. The researchers also say that the photons remain “mysteriously” entangled no matter how far you separate the two in the transmission fibers.

In the project, Kumar and his team were able to use the photons to perform a basic quantum computer task, a controlled-NOT gate, allowing two photonic qubits to interact. Kumar said in a statement, “This device that we demonstrated in the lab is a two-qubit device — nowhere near what’s needed for a quantum computer — so what can you do with it? It’s nice to demonstrate something useful to give a boost to the field, and there are some problems at hand that can be solved right now using what we have."

DailyTech reported in October of 2007 that another team of researchers working on quantum computing had been able to devise a method of controlling the spin of single electrons.

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RE: How misleading.
By jhinoz on 4/9/2008 12:42:42 PM , Rating: 1
Totally agree, even in the article itself:

Researchers use a pair of entangled photons and fiber strands to create basic quantum computer


This device that we demonstrated in the lab is a two-qubit device — nowhere near what’s needed for a quantum computer

Can we be a little less sensationalist with the titles please?

RE: How misleading.
By aharris on 4/9/2008 12:55:55 PM , Rating: 4
I'm pretty sure BASIC BUILDING BLOCK of a Quantum Computer speaks for itself.

If you thought this article meant ANYTHING else, it's our own damn fault.

Hint: The media absolutely loves people who look way too into things like you.

RE: How misleading.
By 67STANG on 4/9/2008 1:34:21 PM , Rating: 4
Hillary Clinton called, she'd like her keen sense of humor back.

RE: How misleading.
By aharris on 4/9/2008 3:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to have escaped me today. I'll have my campaign manager get right on that.

Oh, vote for me!

RE: How misleading.
By callmeroy on 4/9/2008 2:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
lol well stated, I think the same too -- I love people who are too dumb to interpret the meaning of a headline and then cry that its sensationalism when the article doesn't meet their (very wrong) interpretation of the headline.

Advice to live by : "Its best to be quiet and just be thought of as a dumbass, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt..."

RE: How misleading.
By eyebeeemmpawn on 4/9/2008 1:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
maybe you guys should watch a little less TV...

RE: How misleading.
By GhandiInstinct on 4/9/2008 1:08:28 PM , Rating: 2
maybe the tv should watch a little less of you!

(who says the tv isnt watching us? oh snap!) /giggle

RE: How misleading.
By oab on 4/9/2008 1:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

With just one instruction (not), and the program "hard wired" in, I'm pretty sure that a single not gate does count as a computer. Barely, because it manipulates data.

RE: How misleading.
By SoCalBoomer on 4/9/2008 7:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
See, that's why the headline says "building block"

I probably shouldn't assume that you know that the building blocks of all of our computers are these little gates, should I?

Nah. Probably not.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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