Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach
Scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a ground-breaking new method that puts the construction of large-scale quantum computers within reach of current technology.
A trapped-ion quantum computer would consist of an array of X-junctions with quantum bits formed by individual ions that are trapped above the surface of the quantum chip (shown in grey). Individual quantum bits are manipulated simply by tuning voltages as easy as tuning a radio to different stations. Applying voltage V1 results in no quantum operation (blue zones), applying voltage V2 results in a quantum operation on a single quantum bit (green zones), applying voltage V3 results in a quantum operation 'entangling' two quantum bits (red zones). An arbitrary large quantum computer can be constructed based on this simple-to engineer approach.
Credit: University of Sussex
Quantum computers could solve certain problems - that would take the fastest supercomputer millions of years to calculate - in just a few milliseconds. They have the potential to create new materials and medicines, as well as solve long-standing scientific and financial problems.
Universal quantum computers can be built in principle - but the technology challenges are tremendous. The engineering required to build one is considered more difficult than manned space travel to Mars - until now.
Quantum computing on a small scale using trapped ions (charged atoms) is carried out by aligning individual laser beams onto individual ions with each ion forming a quantum bit. However, a large-scale quantum computer would need billions of quantum bits, therefore requiring billions of precisely aligned lasers, one for each ion.
Instead, scientists at Sussex have invented a simple method where voltages are applied to a quantum computer microchip (without having to align laser beams) - to the same effect.
Professor Winfried Hensinger and his team also succeeded in demonstrating the core building block of this new method with an impressively low error rate at their quantum computing facility at Sussex.
Professor Hensinger said: "This development is a game changer for quantum computing making it accessible for industrial and government use. We will construct a large-scale quantum computer at Sussex making full use of this exciting new technology."
Quantum computers may revolutionise society in a similar way as the emergence of classical computers. Dr Seb Weidt, part of the Ion Quantum Technology Group said: "Developing this step-changing new technology has been a great adventure and it is absolutely amazing observing it actually work in the laboratory."
Notes for editors
University of Sussex media relations contact: Julia Harris, 01273 678111 - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ion Quantum Technology Group forms part of UK's National Quantum Technology Programme, a £270M investment by the UK Government to accelerate the translation of quantum technologies into the marketplace.
'Trapped-ion quantum logic with global radiation fields', by S. Weidt, J. Randall, S. C. Webster, K. Lake, A. E. Webb, I. Cohen, T. Navickas, B. Lekitsch, A. Retzker, and W. K. Hensinger is published in the journal Physical Review Letters (Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 220501 (2016)).
A short film about Professor Hensinger's work can be found here: https:/
Prof. Hensinger heads the Ion Quantum Technology Group at the University of Sussex and he is Director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies. The group is part of the UK Quantum Technology Hub on Networked Quantum Information Technologies which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, their vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.
Press Office | EurekAlert!
First machine learning method capable of accurate extrapolation
13.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
A step closer to single-atom data storage
13.07.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences