Sunday, August 9, 2009

Scaling Up a Quantum Computer

Photo: Shine on, ions: Beryllium ions are trapped inside the dark slit on the left side of this chip. When researchers focus lasers on the ions, the ions can be used to perform quantum calculations. Credit: J. Jost at NIST

From Technology Review:

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO, have demonstrated multiple computing operations on quantum bits--a crucial step toward building a practical quantum computer.

Quantum computers have the potential to perform calculations far faster than the classical computers used today. This superior computing power comes from the fact that these computers use quantum bits, or qubits, which can represent both a 1 and a 0 at the same time, in contrast to classical bits that can represent only a 1 or a 0.

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