Thus arose one of the most confusing, most promising, and strangest
breakthroughs in the newly formed field of quantum computing.
computing is the term referring to a unique type of computing that takes
advantage of physics phenomena on a very small subatomic scale. Whereas a
traditional computer works in bits -- 1s and 0s, which represent the presence
or absence of groups of electrons -- a quantum computer use qubits -- multi-state
units based on the position and characteristics
of a single electron. A single qubit can encode far more information
leading to faster, smaller computers.
Imagine a census computer. In a modern computer, information would be
stored across trillions of bits, encoding the person's name, address, and
status. In a quantum computer this same information could be stored
across a much smaller handful of bits. The computer could "see"
multiple people's information simultaneously, allowing for instant processing
of vast amounts of data and easier searches.
Further quantum computing looks to exploit other unusual
physical phenomena such as entanglement, which allows two atoms at a
distance to instantly communicate. Such communication could be faster
than light without violating relativity.
In order to construct a full quantum
computer, you must have an atom or molecule capable of containing multiple
quantum states. Formerly, such a manipulable molecule remained
undiscovered, but with the discovery of the exotic compound, quantum computing
hopes are invigorated.
Gerhard Klimeck, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue
University and associate director for technology for the national Network for
Computational Nanotechnology remarked, "Up to now large-scale quantum
computing has been a dream. This development may not bring us a quantum
computer 10 years faster, but our dreams about these machines are now more
He continued, "If you want to build a quantum computer you have to be able
to control the occupancy of the quantum states. We can control the
location of the electron in this artificial atom and, therefore, control the
quantum state with an externally applied electrical field."
The new molecule was first discovered by Sven Rogge and his colleagues at Delft
University of Technology in the Netherlands. His team was experimenting
on impurities in nano-scale
transistors. They found that a single atom was transporting
electrons, but could not find the impurity responsible. It turned out it
was not an impurity, but a synthetic atom with an unknown proton/neutron
character, created by the electrical current. The exotic atom was flat
and formed a molecule with an arsenic atom on the transistor.
Much of this picture only became clear thanks to the work of physicist Lloyd
Hollenberg and colleagues at the University of Melbourne in Australia who
helped to explain the molecule's strange behavior and appearance.
Hollenberg explained, "The team found that the measurements only made
sense if the molecule was considered to be made of two parts. One end
comprised the arsenic atom embedded in the silicon, while the 'artificial' end
of the molecule forms near the silicon surface of the transistor. A single
electron was spread across both ends. What is strange about the 'surface'
end of the molecule is that it occurs as an artifact when we apply electrical
current across the transistor and hence can be considered 'manmade.' We have no
equivalent form existing naturally in the world around us."
Klimeck, and graduate student Rajib Rahman used the analysis to develop a three
million-atom model in nano-electronics modeling program NEMO 3-D to analyze the
behavior. From this, they determined that the exotic flat atom
represented a controllable quantum state atom, via its electron. The
quantum state was voltage dependent, the necessary characteristic for an
electricity-based quantum computer.
Last David Ebert, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue,
and graduate student Insoo Woo, helped transform the model into an image to
help visualize the discovery.
Delft's Rogge, the first of the discoverers stated, "Our experiment made
us realize that industrial electronic devices have now reached the level where
we can study and manipulate the state of a single atom. This is the
ultimate limit, you cannot get smaller than that."
The breakthrough, like many historic ones (such as the discovery of Penicillin),
was largely accidental. And it is extremely fortunate, in that it may one
day allow complex, incredibly powerful quantum computers to become reality and
solve many complex sets of problems.
quote: Remind me to not eat dinner at your house anytime soon.
quote: i may be scolded for saying this but, i think we really have to give credit to this old saying, 'And God said let there be light'. i'm not sure if any scientific theories can top this one. because at the end, some 'thing' had to create the light.
quote: But we all know this universe indeed had a beginning, and even this one scientists agree on it.
quote: The claimed isotope 289116 decayed by 11.63MeV alpha emission with a halflife of 0.64 ms
quote: Scientists use laws and theories as a tool, not a belief.
quote: Belief in God or any other supernatural phenomenon, doesn't make predictions and can't be tested. That's why it's much weaker.
quote: One could argue that prophesy is a prediction.
quote: Dead wrong. We have evidence for the Big Bang. Mounds of it, in fact.
quote: Eh? If you believe this, pack yourself into a large pipe bomb filled with shrapnel and set it off. By your logic, you have nothing to fear -- since the entire mass is expanding, nothing else inside can possibly strike you.
quote: Big Bang theory doesn't explain how the universe itself originated.
quote: some of us "take it on faith"
quote: Comparing the "faith" that 2 + 2 = 4 because your primary school teacher tells you that it is with religious faith is probably where the arguments are coming from.
quote: What was general relativity? Einstein's earlier theory of time and space, special relativity, proposed that distance and time are not absolute. The ticking rate of a clock depends on the motion of the observer of that clock; likewise for the length of a "yardstick."
quote: You prove my point as you ignore it, because it suits your cause, and lets you ramble on, and on, and on, trying to prove to everyone how clever you are.
quote: The difference between belief and science is that science can make predictions which can be tested. Einstein's theory made many predictions which were later confirmed by measurement. Belief in God or any other supernatural phenomenon, doesn't make predictions and can't be tested. That's why it's much weaker.
quote: To put it bluntly, the situation is that modern science has become UNREASONING (unreasoning: to be lacking reason: a rational motive or purpose)
quote: A few well-intentioned lawyers
quote: Logic is nice and generally quite useful, but it's based on a very limited view of reality when it comes to looking at "the big picture".
quote: Every time you use a CD player, a calculator, or anything powered by electrons, you are validating Einstein's theories. Every time we look at the sky, the stars, and send satellites into space, we are validating Einstein's theories.
quote: Well, there's no point in prolonging an argument when educating ignorant people is impossible as they're incapable of seeing what I mean.
quote: Anyways, I'm not wrong. In terms of light itself, it isn't much of a problem whether or not he's right.
quote: Wow, you're crazy brand of self assured arrogance is amusing if nothing else. It's great that you know more than Einstein too.
quote: In this case, they could have simply observed something happening which they didn't understand and make up some new rules on the spot and go down the pub early, telling the scientific community, not to worry, just "believe me" that they're right.
quote: You are the one coming up with half baked ideas based on little explanation, relying heavily on convenience, not knowledge.
quote: I've not been slinging mud, just explaining what I said much earlier on about scientific method and trying to be light hearted about it.
quote: Wow, you're crazy brand of self assured arrogance is amusing if nothing else.
quote: Did you make this discovery before or after you discovered the question mark and the banana?
quote: ...something can be traveling faster than light (instantaneous) without going faster than light.
quote: entanglement...allows two atoms at a distance to instantly communicate.
quote: Relativity doesn't specifically bar faster-than-light travel. What it does is tell is that FTL communication (of which travel is obviously a subclass) would violate causality.
quote: we believe
quote: Or are you using the
quote: back of your head sort-of-speaking
quote: It never once tries to explain why we are here.