World's First Reprogrammable Quantum Computers Developed Using Programmable Ions

Posted: Aug 4 2016, 4:58am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

World's First Reprogrammable Quantum Computers Developed Using Programmable Ions
Close-up photo of an ion trap. Credit: S. Debnath and E. Edwards/JQI
  • Get Ready for the First Programmable Quantum Computer

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It’s about time that the world got ready for the first programmable quantum computer.

Quantum computers are the ideal means of seeking quick resolutions to the most mindboggling of problems. Yet the construction of large-scale, all-purpose quantum machines has always been somewhat of a challenge.

Up until now, small and functional quantum computers have been the order of the day. Via a combo of atoms, electrons and superconducting junctions, the experts are now into quantum effects. These lab fixtures are suitable for running a single program or have inflexible patterns of interaction.

A quantum computer that would run haphazard algorithms is a tall order. It requires the right system and the right programming toolkit. Atomic ions are the most suitable things for such a state of affairs.

The first programmable quantum computer has been introduced in a study that published as the cover story in Nature today. This is a module that can link up with copies of itself. It uses the trapped ions to run any algorithm on five quantum bits.

For a computer to come in handy, the user ought to be unaware of what is going on inside it. A prime example is the iPhone which we use on a daily basis. We couldn’t care less about what lies inside it on a physical level.

This novel module is based on many years of research regarding trapping and controlling ions. While run-of-the-mill techniques have been employed somewhere in the subtext, there are new methods of control and measurement that are also a part of the system.

Laser beams are used to manipulate ions. There are also detection devices that descry any glowing ions. All these developments are at the frontier of quantum computing. They will help bring the practicality of quantum computing into the mainstream.

The team of researchers responsible for this study, tested their module on at least three problems. This quantum computer should be flexible to boot. Its versatility ought to be such that any problem could be solved using its quantum computing capabilities.

Now the search is on for bigger units like this quantum computer. In quantum algorithms there are three components: qubits, logic gates and output. The tasks connected with these are performed using a variety of colors of laser light.

The rest of the operations are a complex sequence of actions that take place on an internal basis. Suffice it to say that this module is something that will bring a second wave of revolutionary fervor in the field of quantum computers.

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