Scientists have found a new way to improve the fragile and error-prone qubits that make up a quantum computing circuit – and it’s weird.
Qubits tend to make mistakes and can be reduced quickly by transmitting information. So a team of MIT engineers built superconducting “giant atoms” by joining together multiple cubes of value of regular atoms. These giant atoms are easier to control and much harder to destroy during normal operations. The research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, suggests that these giant atoms may help deliver quantum computers that are actually practical.
Long Distance Calling
The problem with traditional qubits, which are the quantum version of 1s and 0s in a classical computing system, is that they can communicate well with adjacent qubits, but the information sent in a longer quantum circuit has tends to decay.
In contrast, giant atoms can be tuned to not only improve information fidelity, but can also be blocked from transmitting until they are supposed to be, which is another problem with existing qubits.
In the end, MIT engineers hope that their giant atoms will lead to a simpler and improved form of quantum computing.
“This allows us to experimentally verify a new physics regime that is difficult to access in natural atoms,” MIT engineer Bharath Kannan said in a press release. “The effects of the giant atom are extremely clean and easy to observe and understand.”
“The tricks we employ are relatively simple,” he added, “and, as such, one can imagine using this for more applications without getting an additional amount of overhead.”
READ MORE: “Giant atoms” allow quantum processing and communication in one [MIT]
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