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Physicists steer light on superconducting chips, forge our quantum computing future

Nicole Lee, @nicole
03.05.13
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We're still years away from quantum computing becoming an everyday reality, but the physics geniuses over at the University of California Santa Barbara have made a discovery that might speed that process along. A team under professor John Martinis' tutelage has developed a way to manipulate light on a superconducting chip at the quantum level, allowing the group to control the wave forms of released photons with a switch and a resonator. That might not seem like much, but it's ultimately a launching pad for much more. With photons now bowing to researchers' whims, the next step is to see if the particles can securely transfer data over long distances, such as between Earth and orbiting satellites, or just from one end of the world to another. It's a lofty goal to be sure, but nobody said the revolution would be over in a day.

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