Monday, August 9, 2010

Research May Lead to Quantum Computers

A Harvard-based research team has created a basic connection that may open the door for communication over an extremely fast quantum computer network.

Pitt physics professor Gurudev Dutt says his team has found a way to put information from a device called a quantum bit, or qubit, onto a photon. Dutt says the goal is to develop this technology so that the photon can carry data from one qubit to the next.

“It requires a bunch of finely-tuned pulses, microwaves, lasers, controlled electronics, all of this just to have one qubit entangled with one photon. And now we’re talking about doubling it up, which brings not only the challenges of just doubling all of the previous setup, but also fundamental challenges, such as the two cubits may or may not be exactly identical,” says Dutt.

Dutt says a quantum computer network would be exponentially faster than current computers, which run on transistors. He says quantum computers would be able to solve complex algorithms that transistor computers find hard to handle.

For example, when a pharmaceutical company tries to make a new drug, they try thousands of formulas before finding the one they want. Dutt says with a quantum computer, the drug-maker could check the efficacy of these experiments much quicker.

No comments: