Scott Aaronson, a scientist at MIT who works mostly with theoretical quantum computers, issued a challenge to all of those deniers out there: prove that "scalable quantum computing is impossible in the physical world," and Aaronson will personally pony up $100,000 to the winner.
In a paper far too daunting for a Monday, researchers at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) have described a novel way to build a simple quantum computer. The idea: rather than using a bunch of finicky interferometers in series to measure the inputs and outputs of data encoded in photons, they want to freeze their interferometers in glass using holograms, making their properties more stable.
You probably saw that super viral quantum locking levitation video that bounced all over the Web last week (though technically it's been around since summer) in which a team of researchers plays with some liquid nitrogen, a small superconducting disc, and some strange quantum phenomenon that makes the disc hover above a magnet, no strings attached. This week's levitation vid taps a similar phenomenon known as the Meisnner effect to achieve this kind of levitation at a decidedly cooler scale: that of the hoverboard.
Researchers on two continents are reporting two big breakthroughs in quantum computing today — a quantum system built on the familiar von Neumann processor-memory architecture, and a working digital quantum simulator built on a quantum-computer platform. Although these developments are still constrained to the lab, they’re yet another sign that a quantum leap in computing may be just around the corner.
If we’re ever going to create the next-gen quantum computers that promise to solve complex and difficult problems at super-fast speeds, first we’ll need to a means to manipulate atoms individually. So researchers from Duke and the University of Wisconsin have figured out how to do exactly that. Collaborators from those universities have demonstrated a laser system that can aim and focus tiny bursts of light onto single atoms without affecting other neighboring particles.
Quantum cryptography is one of the most secure known means of transmitting data, due to the fact that even if a third party does intercept a quantum signal, that interference changes the encryption key, making the tampering apparent to parties at both ends. But a handful of quantum hackers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim recently performed successful hacks of two commercial quantum cryptographic systems -- and they did so without leaving a trace.
Natural impurities in silicon could lead the way to the fastest computers ever imagined
By Stuart FoxPosted 06.30.2008 at 2:16 pm 9 Comments
Much like cold fusion, nano-computing always seems ten years off. The years go by, technology advances, but the goal doesn’t seem to get any closer. Last week, however, a team of Purdue University scientists reported overcoming a major hurdle in the path to creating a functional quantum computer.
Scientists take a look at one of the most complicated puzzles concerning our existence and discover how long galaxies should keep expanding
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.30.2008 at 10:25 am 6 Comments
Not much in science is more of a mind-bender than thinking about the size and fate of the known universe (except for quantum mechanics and string theory, which also has a lot to do with the size and fate of the universe, albeit on the opposite end of the size spectrum). When we first developed theories about the universe, the model which resulted depicted all of space as static and unchanging, infinite in depth in any direction. Then Einstein posited general relativity and suddenly a whole host of universes were theoretically possible: static, dynamic, infinite, and finite.
Suddenly the U.S. isn't the center of the physics universe. The answer: build the International Linear Colliderâ€”one of the most powerful (and expensive) pieces of equipment on Earth
By Gregory MonePosted 08.08.2006 at 2:00 am 2 Comments
When the world´s biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, opens next year near Geneva, the focal point of the high-energy physics world will shift from U.S. soil for the first time in half a century. Bummer, indeed. But America´s brightest are busy devising a rescue plan. In April, a panel of U.S.
By Sarah WebbPosted 05.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
A baseball zooms through clouds, straight through a wall and into the waiting hand of actor Adam Smith, who is tricked out like a magician, complete with wand, tuxedo and top hat. "How do you do it?" Smith asks conspiratorially. "You just need a small enough ball, of course." But Smith isn´t really explaining a magic trick. He´s talking nanotech, in the new short film When Things Get Small.