Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quantum Computing inside Diamonds?

What is a society with rapidly increasing computational needs to do? One answer could be to make use of quantum computing, where the quantum nature of molecules themselves are used to process data. A new experiment out of the University of Southern California (USC) might have solved one of the toughest problems in quantum computing, and it did so by building a computer inside a diamond.
Quantum computing is harnessing and exploiting the laws of quantum mechanics to process information.
A traditional computer uses strings of “bits,” which encode either a zero or one. A quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits. A qubit is a system that encodes the zero and the one into two distinguishable quantum states. But because qubits behave according to the laws of quantum mechanics, there's phenomena of "superposition" and "entanglement."

Superposition is the ability of a quantum system to be in multiple states at the same time. Something can be “here” and “there,” or “up” and “down” at the same time. Entanglement is an extremely strong correlation that exists between quantum particles — so strong that two or more quantum particles can be inextricably linked in perfect unison, even if separated by great distances.
Thanks to superposition and entanglement, a quantum computer can process a vast number of calculations simultaneously.
A classical computer works with ones and zeros, a quantum computer will have the advantage of using ones, zeros and “superpositions” of ones and zeros. Difficult tasks that have long been thought impossible (“intractable”) for classical computers will be achieved quickly by a quantum computer.
The diamond computer developed at USC makes use of the impurities in the crystalline structure to make up its qubits. Researchers used a neutron as one qubit, and an electron as the other.

At this point there is no practical application for the simple quantum computer built at USC but the next step in computing is getting closer every day.