Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Memoirs of a qubit: Hybrid memory solves key problem for quantum computing

Abstract:
An international team of scientists has performed the ultimate miniaturisation of computer memory: storing information inside the nucleus of an atom. This breakthrough is a key step in bringing to life a quantum computer - a device based on the fundamental theory of quantum mechanics which could crack problems unsolvable by current technology.

Memoirs of a qubit: Hybrid memory solves key problem for quantum computing

Princeton, NJ | Posted on October 22nd, 2008

In the quantum world, objects such as atoms are allowed to exist in multiple states simultane-ously -- that is, they could literally be in two places at once or possess a number of other seemingly mutually exclusive properties. Quantum computing is seen as the holy grail of computing because each individual piece of information, or Ďbit', can have more than one value at once, as opposed to current technology which is limited to either 1s or 0s. This yields unprecedented processing power and thus dramatically widens the scope of what computers can do.

The problem: How do you isolate a quantum bit from a noisy environment to protect the deli-cate quantum information, while at the same time allowing it to interact with the outside world so that it can be manipulated and measured?

The team, with scientists and engineers from Oxford and Princeton universities and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reported a solution to this problem in the Oct. 23 issue of the journal Nature.

The team's plan was to devise a hybrid system using both the electron and nucleus of an atom of phosphorous embedded in a silicon crystal. Each behaves as a tiny quantum magnet capa-ble of storing quantum information, but inside the crystal the electron is more than a million times bigger than the nucleus, with a magnetic field that is a thousand times stronger. This makes the electron well-suited for manipulation and measurement, but not so good for storing information, which can become rapidly corrupted. This is where the nucleus comes in: when the information in the electron is ready for storage, it is moved into the nucleus where it can survive for much longer times.

The experiments were made possible by the use of silicon enriched with the single 28Si iso-tope, painstakingly grown by the Berkeley team into large crystals while keeping the material ultra-pure and free from contaminants.

"The electron acts as a middle-man between the nucleus and the outside world. It gives us a way to have our cake and eat it - fast processing speeds from the electron, and long memory times from the nucleus," said John Morton, a research fellow at St. John's College, Oxford and lead author of the Letter to Nature.

Crucially, the information stored in the nucleus had a lifetime of about 1 and 3/4 seconds, ex-ceeding a recently calculated target for quantum computing in silicon beyond which known error correction techniques could then protect the data for an arbitrarily long period of time. Without this technique the longest researchers had been able to preserve quantum information in silicon was a few tens of milliseconds.

"Nobody really knew how long a nucleus might hold quantum information in this system. With the crystals from Lawrence Berkeley and very careful measurements we were delighted to see memory times exceeding the threshold," said Steve Lyon, leader of the Princeton team.

Many different approaches to building a quantum computer are being studied, however one great advantage of the model used here is that it is based on silicon technology, which makes it more compatible with today's computers.

The work was funded in the United Kingdom by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Re-search Council and in the United States by the National Science Foundation, the National Se-curity Agency and the Department of Energy.

Notes to Editors

All the information in a normal computer is encoded in binary "bits." A bit is a fundamental unit of information, represented as a 0 or 1 in a normal digital computer. Putting lots of bits together creates a code, which generates or processes information. A quantum bit (qubit), however, could be both 1 and 0 at once. That means a single qubit has twice the power of a normal bit, but once qubits start interacting with each other the processing power increases exponentially. A system of 500 qubits represents 2500 different states (which, roughly, is 3 with 151 zeroes after it).

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Steven Schultz

609-258-3617

Copyright © Princeton University, Engineering School

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D InfinityTM AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance April 18th, 2014

Conductive Inks: booming to $2.8 billion by 2024 April 17th, 2014

Memory Technology

High-temperature plasmonics eyed for solar, computer innovation April 17th, 2014

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014

First principles approach to creating new materials: Solid-state chemistry and theoretical physics combined to help discover new materials with useful properties April 8th, 2014

Domain walls in nanowires cleverly set in motion: Important prerequisite for the development of nano-components for data storage and sensor technology / Publication in Nature Communications April 8th, 2014

Quantum Computing

Quantum manipulation: Filling the gap between quantum and classical world April 14th, 2014

Rainbow-catching waveguide could revolutionize energy technologies: By slowing and absorbing certain wavelengths of light, engineers open new possibilities in solar power, thermal energy recycling and stealth technology March 28th, 2014

Could Diamonds Be A Computerís Best Friend? Landmark experiment reveals the precious gemís potential in computing March 24th, 2014

Waterloo, Technion Partner to Advance Research, Commercialization March 19th, 2014

Discoveries

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Thinnest feasible membrane produced April 17th, 2014

More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale April 17th, 2014

Announcements

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D InfinityTM AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance April 18th, 2014

Transparent Conductive Films and Sensors Are Hot Segments in Printed Electronics: Start-ups in these fields show above-average momentum, while companies working on emissive displays such as OLED are fading, Lux Research says April 17th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE