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First Reprogrammable Quantum Computer Ushers In New Era Of Technology

By Sarene Mae Butao , Aug 05, 2016 05:27 AM EDT
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Newest studies revealed that the first reprogrammable quantum computer has been created. This study is said to be one of the most awaited discoveries in the age of quantum computing. The researchers said that it could now aid the scientists to run several multifaceted simulations and can produce quick resolutions to complicated calculations. These quantum computers can potentially be much faster than the conventional computers but they are hard to program and to reconfigure due to their origin of creation, which is physics.

According to Wired, the quantum computer's functioning depend on the strange nature of quantum physics. Quantum computing holds the logic of "superpositions" which separates it from traditional computers. Computers before or those of today represents data in binary with series of zeroes and ones called "bits" and represented by flicking switch transistors to trigger either on or off.

Meanwhile, quantum computers uses quantum bits or "qubits" that are in "superposition," which means that they are in on and off simultaneously. By this method, qubit can essentially execute two calculations instantaneously. According to previous research, quantum computers could possibly perform more calculations in one instant simultaneously. Prior to other work, it has been found that these new computers have the capability to solve certain snags much faster than the conventional computers. 

At the moment, a research group at the University of Maryland built a new, smaller quantum computer, which can be one of the first substantial steps that leads towards developing new devices. Shantanu Debnath, an optical engineer and also a quantum physicist at University of Maryland, said that they are trying to build a quantum processor of five qubits surrounded by ions that is reconfigurable where you can program algorithm into it. Debnath calls it a fundamental building block en route for large scale devices, Live Science reported

Currently, Debnath and his colleagues have created the first fully functional programmable and reprogrammable quantum computer. This new device is made up of five qubits where each qubit is an ion or electrically charged particle ensnared in a magnetic field. And by the use of laser pulses, the researchers were able to develop the quantum algorithms.

Researchers are now working on the next step which is to shrink the system to make it more compact. Debnath added that they plan on refining the ion trap and the overall controls into the system including the delivery of lasers. Also, they are planning on tapping more qubits in the processor.

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