Researchers claim quantum breakthrough
Researchers say they have designed a tiny crystal that acts like a quantum computer so powerful it would take a computer the size of the known universe to match it.
Details of the crystal, which is made up of just 300 atoms, are published today in the journal Nature.
"Quantum computing is a kind of information science that is based on the notion that if one performs computations in a fundamentally different way than the way your classical desktop computer works," says study co-author University of Sydney's Dr Michael Biercuk.
"There’s a huge potential to solve a variety of problems that are very, very hard or near impossible for standard computer."
The crystal simulator uses a property of quantum mechanics called superposition, where a quantum particle appears to be in two distinct states at the same time. This means the particle, known as a qubit, can be used to solve two equations simultaneously.
As the number of qubits increase, the number or states increases exponentially. For example, 2 qubits can simultaneously be in 4 states, 3 qubits in 8 states: 2 to the power of n states for n qubits.
[Photo Source: Britton/NIST]