Latest in Science

Image credit: David Weiss lab, Penn State University

Lasers and microwaves lead to better quantum computing circuits

Researchers have found a way to use large numbers of atoms as quantum bits.
692 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

David Weiss lab, Penn State University

If you're going to craft a quantum computer, you need to corral lots of quantum bits (qubits) to perform calculations... and Penn State researchers have found a way to make that happen. They've developed a technique that relies on lasers and microwaves to steer a tightly packed, 3D grid of atoms that serve as qubits. When you want to change the state of these atoms, you hit them with crossed laser beams and then bathe them in uniform microwaves. In a test, scientists had enough control to spell out "PSU" across a three-layer array of 125 atoms.

The tech has a long way to go. You'd need many more qubits to make a fully functional computer, to start with. Penn State's team also wants to improve the reliability (it's at 99.7 percent now) and create quantum entanglements that have particles react to each other. If all those pieces fall into place, though, you could see truly complex quantum computers (not just ones with a few atoms) that pull off calculations which are impractical or impossible for today's machines.

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
692 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Tesla's relaunched solar power efforts include $50 panel rentals

Tesla's relaunched solar power efforts include $50 panel rentals

View
After Math: Plead the fifth

After Math: Plead the fifth

View
The best smart home sensors for Alexa

The best smart home sensors for Alexa

View
Runkeeper drops its Wear OS app due to a 'buggy experience'

Runkeeper drops its Wear OS app due to a 'buggy experience'

View
Drako's GTE electric supercar will be a four-motor, 1,200HP monster

Drako's GTE electric supercar will be a four-motor, 1,200HP monster

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr