It's no mean feat to find the factors of a very large number -- even a supercomputer can take years to find all the multipliers. However, MIT researchers have found a way to clear this massive hurdle. They've built a quantum computer that discovers number factors using just five atoms. Four of the atoms are turned into logic gates using laser pulses that put them into superpositions (where they maintain two different energy states at once), while the fifth atom stores and delivers answers. The result is a computer that not only calculates solutions much more efficiently than existing quantum systems, but scales relatively easily. Need to get the factors for a larger number? Introduce more atoms.