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February 28, 2012
Quantum computing in our lifetime?
So says IBM who announced a huge breakthrough in tying down the pesky qubits and keeping them in their quantum state a bit longer. You don't have to know how the thing works. But here's an explanation anyway: In quantum computing, conventional binary bits are replaced by qubits, which can be 1, 0 or both. However, until now, qubits have been unstable: the pesky things tend to lose their quantum mechanical properties and go incoherent in a fraction of a second. Big Blue has been experimenting with "three dimensional" superconducting qubits, first examined at Yale University, and has found a way to extend the quantum coherence of the qubits by up to 100 microseconds, two to four times greater than previous records. It doesn't sound like much time, but the value just slides past the minimum threshold to allow effective error correction in the computations. Yes, you read that right. A qubit can be both 1 and 0 at the same time - a given in quantum mechanics regarding light which...(Read Full Post)