Researchers Make Quantum Computing Breakthrough
By storing quantum data, or qubits, inside a specially-made diamond, researchers have made a technological breakthrough that should allow for a host of real-world quantum applications.
What's the Latest Development?
A team of Harvard scientists have succeeded in storing quantum bits of data, or qubits, at room temperature for nearly two seconds by coding them inside a diamond. This is an increase of nearly six orders of magnitude over the life span of earlier systems, which in order to stabilize the data, relied on sophisticated machines to cool the qubits to temperatures near absolute zero. Working with a British-based artificial diamond manufacturer, the Harvard team used a special diamond composed of 99.99% carbon-12 atoms, which contain no spin. The remaining .01% carbon-13 atoms, which do contain spin, were used by the researchers to store and read qubits.
What's the Big Idea?
The Harvard team says no theoretical barriers remain to storing quantum data for longer periods of time and that technological advances will allow qubits to be stored and read for hours, at which point many real-world applications become possible. "In addition to a practical quantum computer, [the team] envisions the system being used in applications that include 'quantum cash' (a payment system for bank transactions and credit cards that relies on the coding of quantum bits to thwart counterfeiters) and quantum networks (a highly secure communications method that uses quantum bits to transmit data)."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.