Latest in Science

Image credit: Welcomia via Getty Images

Newly discovered magnetism is a big boost for quantum computers

Quantum spin liquids are real, and might be the future of technology.
88 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Welcomia via Getty Images

Until now, humanity has only known two forms of magnetism: ferromagnetism (the kind you see on your fridge) and antiferromagnetism (a sort of negative magnetism found in hard drives). However, MIT researchers just confirmed the existence of a third kind... and it could be the key to making quantum computing a practical reality. The team made and supercooled a crystal that exhibits a quantum spin liquid state, where the magnetic directions of each particle never line up. That odd behavior, in turn, leads to quantum entanglement (in which distant particles affect each other's magnetism) that would be ideal for computers.

If scientists learn how to consistently produce and control that entanglement in the future, they could create reliable quantum computers -- you could flip qubits (quantum bits) without worrying that nearby materials will throw it off. That's no mean feat when MIT was using a decidedly rare mineral just to get things going. However, this could be a crucial starting point for technology that will be useful years down the road.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
88 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
‘Terminator: Resistance’ will pit you against Skynet this December

‘Terminator: Resistance’ will pit you against Skynet this December

View
‘Apex Legends’ Season 3 launches with a new hero on October 1st

‘Apex Legends’ Season 3 launches with a new hero on October 1st

View
Inside Apple's redesigned 'cube' store in New York City

Inside Apple's redesigned 'cube' store in New York City

View
Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro has a 'quad-camera' and a vegan leather option

Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro has a 'quad-camera' and a vegan leather option

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr