New Quantum Computer Factors Numbers In A Scalable Way

Posted: Mar 4 2016, 12:46pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


New Quantum Computer Factors Numbers in a Scalable Way
Researchers have designed and built a quantum computer from five atoms in an ion trap. The computer uses laser pulses to carry out Shor’s algorithm on each atom, to correctly factor the number 15. Image: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT
  • MIT scientists build new Quantum Computer which factors numbers!
  • This marks the beginning of the end for encryption schemes

The lead scientists stated Quantum computing is an engineering effort now, not basic physics question.

A team of computer scientists have come up with the world’s first ever Quantum Computer. The scientists belong to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Some members of the team are from the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

The scientists say they have put together the first five quantum bits or qubits of a quantum computer. The Quantum Computer is capable of executing simple mathematical challenges.

Basically the computer can factor numbers in a scalable way. The computer is currently being tested on solving mathematical-factoring problems. The computer could eventually be used for different applications.

Especially in applications which use factoring for encryptions to keep information, such as credit card data. Although the computer is still in its first phase the future seems promising.

The Quantum Computer was successful in being applied for factoring up till the number 15. It was a significant step in mathematics since 15 is the first impressionable quantum. The answer delivered by the computer was also 99 percent correct. 

MIT officials have stated the team was able to make the computer successfully by keeping the quantum system stable. The stability was achieved by holding the atoms in an ion trap. In the trap an electron was removed from each atom, resulting in the atom’s change. This way each atom was held in its place with an electric field. 

Isaac Chuang is a professor of physics, electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. Chung is also the lead researcher who manufactured the Quantum Computer. According to Chuang, the new stability system makes sure they know where the atom is in space. 

Professor Chuang is a pioneer in the field of quantum computing and designed a quantum computer back in 2001. The computer was based on one molecule which could be held in 'superposition'.

The computer was held by being manipulated with nuclear magnetic resonance to factor the number 15. It was the first time Shor's algorithm had experimental implications.

However the computer system was not scalable. So the system became unstable as more numbers were added. The new Quantum Computer is highly scalable.

The scalability will enable Chuang and his team to build quantum computing devices. The devices will be capable of solving huge mathematical factors.

Chuang admitted building such devices will cost an enormous amount of money. Since Quantum computing will be an engineering effort, and not a basic physics question anymore. Building the computer will require engineering and not just physics. 

Usually its takes 12 qubits to factor the number 15. The new Quantum Computer has a system which uses five qubits to factor 15. Each qubits is represented by a single atom to factor numbers.

The atoms are held in a superposition of two different energy states. They researchers use laser pulses on four of the five atoms to perform ‘logic gates’.

The results of the process or factoring are stored, forwarded, extracted, and recycled via the fifth atom. The system carried out the Shor’s algorithm. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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