The proposed simulator is unique because it could let researchers control how individual particles move and interact with each other. This ability to control individual parts of a quantum system is key to the development of powerful quantum computers in the future.
The term ‘quantum system’ is used to describe a system which is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, as opposed to being governed by the classical laws of physics such as mechanics, gravity and Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Quantum mechanics comes into play when systems are the size of atoms or smaller, because on this very small scale the conventional laws of mechanics no longer apply. Quantum computing devices of the future, which have not yet been successfully created, will rely on scientists harnessing quantum behaviour to create systems that can far exceed the speed and processing capabilities of current silicon-based computers.
The study, published in Nature Physics, shows that a device can be built which is able to simulate the behaviour of atoms and other particles according to the laws of quantum physics. The proposed simulator would consist of atoms and photons – particles of light – in an array of very small silicon cavities, measuring just 50 micrometres across. The researchers show that the atoms and photons inside the cavities would form a strongly-interacting many-body system, with photons jumping from cavity to cavity, and at the same time being scattered off each other – all examples of quantum behaviour.
Dr Michael J Hartmann, who led the study along with his colleagues Mr. Fernando Brandão and Professor Martin Plenio from Imperial College London’s Department of Physics and Institute for Mathematical Sciences, said: “Our research has successfully shown that it is possible to create a simulation of a system governed by the laws of quantum physics, in which scientists could have control of individual particles. This is a key theoretical discovery because in order to build the quantum computers of the future - which harness the power of atoms to perform calculations billions of times faster than normal computers – we will need to be able to manipulate quantum systems in this way.”
Professor Plenio adds: “In the short term the simulator could be used to test the capabilities of materials at the atomic and sub-atomic level when quantum physics governs atoms’ behaviour. In the very long run we anticipate that these kinds of simulators could potentially be used to create new materials with capabilities and characteristics which do not occur naturally.”
Laura Gallagher | alfa
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences