Quantum Ka-Billionaire: Six Billion Qubits Entangled

The trickle of quantum computing breakthroughs has turned into a fairly steady stream over the last few months. The most recent gush is a report that researchers are closing in on using silicon as the basis for a QC.

A group of Oxford scientists generated six billion entangled bits in a doped silicon mixture.

(By the way, anytime I start to write about Oxford, I have this prim English accent that goes through my mind. When I write about Ivy League schools, I begin to think in a Thurston Howell, III voice. UC-Berkley gets this beatnik imitation.)

I'd walk out on that movie if I was on an airplane.--Thurston Howell, III

So, is this silicon QC thing a big deal?

I think so. It’s definitely a big step.

But, entangling is not necessarily quantum computation.

I think this story got the headlines because most of us are more familiar with the miraculous properties of silicon. It’s something we’re used to talking about. And the mainstream media gets silicon. Silicon valley.

On the other hand, mention topological QC, or adiabatic quantum information systems and watch the eyes of reporters glaze over like frosting on a sticky bun. (Right. Haven’t had breakfast yet.)

The fact that silicon could be used in quantum processing is, in my opinion, proven. But whether silicon makes the most sense, is the most efficient, or can be the most scalable model of quantum information processing, as Thurston Howell, III would say, “is still up for debate, Lovey.”

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Quantum Computers Meet Manga Graphics

Professor Miyake, The Record

Take the imagination of a one-time Manga enthusiast and combine it with the wild, wild world of quantum information science and what do you get?

Alice Meets the Quantum Computer.

Akimasa Miyake, of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, uses his love of drawing Manga comics, a distinctly Japanese form of comic-meets-graphic novels–and his passion of quantum computing to take a Manga Alice into the world of quantum mechanics.

Miyake drew Alice on his office blackboard to help answer the question: why do we need quantum computers. The researcher has some ideas on this.

Primarily, the quantum computer can model behavior that classical physics and classical computers can only estimate. Put “superposition” at the top of the list.

But, deeper still, Miyake makes some interesting points about quantum information processing and reality:

This would give a quantum computer immense power. If this feature of nature could be exploited, we would have machines that could process information in a much faster and deeper way than even the best supercomputers can do.
In a way, nature is already doing this, Miyake says.
In fact, some people imagine all of nature, the whole universe, as being a lot like a giant information processor, or a giant quantum computer, one that is constantly managing this quantum information to produce the reality we see.
“That is one possible perspective,” Miyake says. He notes that the late John Wheeler, a famous American theoretical physicist, coined the phrase “it from bit” about 20 years ago to convey this idea that maybe everything is information.
“In the quantum information community today, we have more or less come to this viewpoint because we tend to see the world in terms of these quantum bits,” Miyake says.

Miyake also speculates that quantum computers could one day go from Alice in Wonderland to Alice in the Matrix:

This would give a quantum computer immense power. If this feature of nature could be exploited, we would have machines that could process information in a much faster and deeper way than even the best supercomputers can do.
In a way, nature is already doing this, Miyake says.
In fact, some people imagine all of nature, the whole universe, as being a lot like a giant information processor, or a giant quantum computer, one that is constantly managing this quantum information to produce the reality we see.
“That is one possible perspective,” Miyake says. He notes that the late John Wheeler, a famous American theoretical physicist, coined the phrase “it from bit” about 20 years ago to convey this idea that maybe everything is information.
“In the quantum information community today, we have more or less come to this viewpoint because we tend to see the world in terms of these quantum bits,” Miyake says.

I’d personally like to see a quantum Mad Hatter.

Entangling Particles With an Un-entangled Particle

Entanglement is weird.

Two particles that are entangled can co-ordinate with each other. Instantly.

So, let’s toss more weirdness on the fire, shall we?

Two researchers have shown that two distant particles can be entangled with a third particle that has never been entangled with either of them.

In their own words:

“It was shown that two distant particles can be entangled by sending a third particle never entangled with the other two [T. S. Cubitt et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 037902 (2003)]. In this paper, we investigate a class of three-qubit separable states to distribute entanglement by the same way, and calculate the maximal amount of entanglement which two particles of separable states in the class can have after applying the way.”

You can read the paper here.

 

Another $2 Million for Quantum Computing Research

Quantum Computing is all about uncertainty.

But some funders are certain about how much of an impact quantum computing will have. In a few words: game changing.

A University of Georgia researcher was awarded a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to study quantum computing.

UGA Physicist Michael Geller has worked most of his career on quantum computers.

“Quantum computing promises to solve very specific but important problems,” said Geller, “and in doing so demonstrate a dramatic improvement over supercomputers currently in use. So far, quantum computing has just existed as a theoretical possibility. We believe it will be possible to build one, but we also know it will be extremely difficult. If one could be built, it would transform information technology.”

While teams worldwide are working on the design and potential construction of a quantum computer, the new NSF grant will put UGA in the thick of the race and involve the expertise of internationally recognized scientists, including Geller and his colleague in the department of physics and astronomy, Phillip Stancil, who also is a member of the UGA Center for Simulational Physics.

You can read the complete story here.

Nano-diamonds Are A Quantum Computer’s Best Friend


You’re absolutely right. It was a horrible headline for this post.

It was corny and misleading.

Thank you. I try my best.

But it does appear that nano-diamonds just joined the list of contenders for QC hardware models. That list of QC bling is pretty long.

According to a release posted on EurekAlert:

Now, researchers in Germany have successfully fabricated a rudimentary quantum computing hybrid system using electronic excitations in nano-diamonds as qubits and optical nanostructures, so-called photonic crystals with tailored optical properties. This architecture may allow integration of multi-qubit systems on a single micrometer-sized chip for future quantum computers.

It’s not enough that quantum computing systems be theoretically possible. The rubber hits the road when a system can inexpensively scale up to attain the type of performance that will sustain quantum computation. That’s a different task entirely.

But, according to these researchers, nano-diamonds are promising.

“Our results suggest a strategy for scaling up quantum information to large-scale systems, which has yet to be done,” says Janik Wolters, researcher, at Humboldt Universität in Berlin. “We regard our experiment as a milestone on the long road toward on-chip integrated quantum information processing systems, bringing the dream of a quantum computer closer to reality.”

Hopefully, the researchers will be engaged in further research on nano-diamonds.

(I think when you need to bold key words in your joke setup, that it proves the joke is bound to fail.)

A Million-Dollar Quantum Boilermaker

Hey, a million-dollar quantum boilermaker…

No, it’s not a new drink created by the makers of 4-Loco, it’s another sign of the increasing interest in quantum computing.

The National Science Foundation awarded Purdue University $1.5 million to study quantum information technology. The new center will use a multi-disciplinary approach to studying quantum phenomena

“The center will bring together experts in theoretical chemistry and quantum information processing to investigate information techniques used to gain new insights into a variety of chemical processes from bond breaking to photosynthesis,” said Kais, who is a professor of chemistry and a researcher in the Birck Nanotechnology Center. “This work will advance our understanding of chemical phenomena and could lead to the realization of quantum computers, which would be capable of performing complex calculations and simulations impossible on today’s computers.”

The Birth of the Quantum Internet?

Researchers may have demonstrated a proof-of-concept for a quantum network.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) profs say they have shown how to entangle a quantum state stored in four spatially distinct atomic memories. They described the process in Nature.

I read about it at Eureka Alert.

The researchers also say that this can serve as “quantum interface between the atomic memories—which represent something akin to a computer “hard drive” for entanglement—and four beams of light, thereby enabling the four-fold entanglement to be distributed by photons across quantum networks. The research represents an important achievement in quantum information science by extending the coherent control of entanglement from two to multiple (four) spatially separated physical systems of matter and light.”

It’s important to understand the difference between a quantum logic gate is and a quantum network. Sometimes, quantum information terms are used interchangeably.

According to Quantiki, a quantum logic gate is a device which performs a fixed unitary operation on selected qubits in a fixed period of time and a quantum network is a device consisting of quantum logic gates whose computational steps are synchronised in time