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Quantum computer break-through

by on01 March 2013

Information transferred from atom to photon

Boffins at he University of Innsbruck in Austria have managed to transfer quantum information from an atom to a photon, which is being seen as a breakthough in the making of quantum computers.

According to Humans Invent the breakthough allows quantum computers to exchange data at the speed of light along optical fibres. Lead researcher on the project Tracy Northup said that the method allows the mapping of quantum information faithfully from an ion onto a photon.

Northup’s team used an “ion trap” to produce a single photon from a trapped calcium ion with its quantum state intact using mirrors and lasers. No potential cats were injured in the experiment. The move enables boffins to start to play with thousands of quantum bits rather than just a dozen or so. This means that they can get a computer to do specific tasks like factoring large numbers or a database search, faster.

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