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Quantum Computer Chips Pass Key Milestones

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Quantum computer design

A quantum computer design that uses wires and circuits etched on chips is gaining ground on more established quantum setups based on photons or ions.

Credit: Courtesy of Erik Lucero

University of California, Santa Barbara researchers have developed a quantum computer design based on superconducting electrical circuits that adds a more sustainable method to completing quantum calculations.

Previously, quantum systems using photons or trapped ions as qubits have had the most success in solving advanced calculations, but the Santa Barbara researchers used tiny, superconducting wires to build the system.

The researchers, led by Matteo Mariantoni, used a chip embedded with tiny loops of wire made from aluminum and rhenium. The researchers cooled the wires to a temperature very close to absolute zero, creating electrons coupled into "cooper pairs." The pairs were forced to resonate in unison, making them act like qubits. The researchers were able to move some quantum information from one qubit wire to another, thus entangling the qubits.

The researchers also were able to use the system to develop a Toffoil OR phase gate, which is an important step towards building codes that perform quantum error correction. "The beautiful thing about a solid circuit is that it's something you can write using lithographic technology," says University of Queensland researcher Andrew White.

From New Scientist
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