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March 3rd, 2005
Quantum Computers May Be Easier to Build Than Predicted
A full-scale quantum computer could produce reliable results even if its components performed no better than today’s best first-generation prototypes, according to a paper in the March 3 issue in the journal Nature by a scientist at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Quantum computers would use atoms, for example, as quantum bits (qubits), whose magnetic and other properties would be manipulated to represent 1 or 0 or even both at the same time. These states are so delicate that qubit values would be unusually susceptible to errors caused by the slightest electronic "noise."
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