IBM: We’re on the cusp of the Quantum Computing revolution
“Technology’s holy grail is the development of a “perfect” Quantum Computer. Traditional computers recognize information as bits: binary information that represent “On” or “Off” states. A Quantum Computer uses qubits; operating in superposition, it exists in all states simultaneously — not just “On” or “Off,” but every possible state in-between. It would theoretically be able to instantly access every piece of information at the same time, meaning that a 250 qubit computer would contain more data than there are particles in the universe.
The system has serious ramifications in the fields of science, technology, medicine and security — the latter because it can try every conceivable password to access a system within a second. However, for now, this computer remains science fiction rather than science fact. In the same way that you understand the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Physics, qubits are negatively affected by both observation and interaction — the vulnerability of these materials to interference from heat, radiation and defective materials means you can’t trust the answers it provides, called quantum decoherence. Being able to produce a qubit of sufficient “integrity” that you can trust the results is what has eluded scientists for decades.
In a few short hours, however, IBM is going to present three brand-new records to the American Physical Society that could change all of that. Using its R&D know-how, and some of the world’s most powerful freezers, it’s developed methods of easily building, maintaining and even increasing the integrity of a qubit to the point that it’s now very close to the minimum standard required by the research community. David DiVincenzo, professor at the Institute of Quantum Information thinks that the company is “nearly at the tipping point.”
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