Thursday 7 April 2016

The Long-Awaited Promise of a Programmable Quantum Computer

Quantum Computer

Controlling Quantum Particles – Run Quantum Procedure

One of the great challenges of the 21st century physics is the quest to build aninfluential quantum computer and though the obstacles seem significant, physicists have been chasing them down, one after the other. They have steadily learned in controlling quantum particles with the precision needed to run quantum procedure on a small scale with a few qubits.

The big test is now scale, combining these techniques in which they can manage large number of qubits and perform powerful quantum calculations. Recently Shantanu Debnath together with his pals at the University of Maryland in College Park unveiled a five qubit quantum computer module which can be programmed for any quantum procedure.

However, significantly, it is said that this module could be connected to others for the performance of powerful quantum computations concerning huge numbers of qubits. Debnath and his pals state that `this small quantum computer could be scaled to larger numbers of qubits in a single module and can further be expanded by linking several modules’. For nearly 20 years, physicists have been capable of running quantum procedures on quantum computers and the first two and three qubit machines had begun number crunching towards late 1990s.

Quantum Processes – Series of Logic Operations

However, since then, the progress had been stalled due to the dangerous difficulties in connecting large numbers of quantum particles together while maintaining their quantum states. The new device is built on the extensive work over the last two decades on trapped ion quantum computers which comprises of five ytterbium ions lined up and trapped in an electromagnetic field.

 The electronic state of individual ion is controlled by annihilating it with a laser which enables each ion to store some of the quantum information. Since they are charged, the ion exercises force on each other causing them to vibrate at frequencies which can be accurately controlled and manipulated.

 These vibrations tend to be quantum in nature enabling the ions to get entangled and in this way, the quantum bits they tend to hold can then interact. Physicist tends to carry out quantum logic operations by controlling these interactions. The quantum processes are a series of these logic operations which following one after the other.

Performing Arbitrary Series of Operation Essential

The capability of performing an arbitrary series of operation is essential. Few of the quantum computers seem to be capable of doing this and most of them have been designed to perform a particular single quantum process, which is what Debnath and his pals intend to change.

 The researchers have built a self-contained module which has the potential of addressing individual ions with a laser and read out the results of the interactions between qubits which seems to work well. The team has put the device through its speeds by applying various different quantum procedures. They have stated that `as examples, they had implemented the Deutsch-Jozsa, Bernstein-Vazirani and quantum Fourier transforms procedure.

 The procedures presented here demonstrate the computational flexibility delivered by the ion trap quantum architecture’.Though it is impressive, the team claims that it can go still further and in particular, they state that their module is scalable and several five qubit modules could be linked together in forming a more powerful quantum computer.

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