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Diamonds: A Key Ingredient in Tomorrow's Quantum Computers

February 21, 2013, 9:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

German scientists have found that thinly sliced diamonds may be able to store quantum bits of data at room temperature, a development that could eventually make quanutm computers more widely available. "Florian Dolde at the University of Stuttgart and his colleagues think the ideal elements that will store information on a quantum computer are individual nitrogen atoms implanted into a diamond film." The advance made by Dolde is to show how electrons simultaneously existing in two different quantum states can be stored without cooling the diamond to near-subzero temperatures.

What's the Big Idea?

Today's computers are capable of performing very powerful calculations much faster than the human brain. Yet limitations remain. Even the fastest computers must crunch numbers in a sequential order, one after another in a single-file chain of computations. But because quantum particles can exist in two or more different states at the same time, in a so-called superposition of states, each quantum bit can be not just a 1 or a 0 but mixtures of both. "As a result, a group of qubits could perform many different calculations at once, rather than having to do them sequentially like an ordinary computer."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC Future



Diamonds: A Key Ingredient ...

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