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Aussies build a better Qubit

by on09 November 2016

Step closer to cat-friendly quantum computers

Australian boffins have come up with a better qubit which makes quantum computers more likely.

Quantum computers use something called “superposition" which means qubits can exist in two separate quantum states simultaneously. This would speed up computers by performing simultaneous computations in parallel. The difficulty is that qubits are as unstable as the current US president which prevents the information they contain from being read.

Now a team of researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has managed to make a qubit which is stable for ten times longer than normal qubits.

Arne Laucht, a Research Fellow at UNSW said that his team had created a new quantum bit where the spin of a single electron was merged with a strong electromagnetic field.

"This quantum bit is more versatile and more long-lived than the electron alone, and will allow us to build more reliable quantum computers," Laucht said.

Dubbed "dressed qubits" because they wear an electromagnetic field like a nice suit, they can retain information far longer than the standard "spin" qubit. And the longer the qubit can hold onto that information, the more powerful the computation researchers can make.

The custom qubits by blasting an electron's spin with a continuously-oscillating magnetic field at microwave frequencies. Changing the frequency of the field adjusts the electron's spin. It also does not require the use of any potentially dead or alive cats.

Last modified on 09 November 2016
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