Physicists Just Invented an Essential Component Needed For Quantum Computers

In 2016, the Nobel Prize in Physics went to three British scientists for their work on superconductors and superfluids, which included the explanation of a rather odd phase of matter.

Now, for the first time, their discovery has a practical application – shrinking an electrical component to a size that will help quantum computers reach a scale that just might make them useful.

 “Such compact circulators could be implemented in a variety of quantum hardware platforms, irrespective of the particular quantum system used,” says the study’s lead author, Alice Mahoney.
Read more at Science Alert
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Australian Banks Hiring Quantum Talent

Universities and banks are collaborating in anticipation of the quantum computer becoming reality. An estimated 20,000 jobs are opening up after investments of about $10B in investments the US, China, and Japan.

From The Australian: In July, Microsoft and the University of Sydney announced a multi-year partnership to move quantum machines from research into real-world engineering. In April, the Commonwealth Bank revealed it had developed a quantum computer “simulator” to give Australians “a head start on the massive step change in computing power promised by quantum processing”.

Professor Andrea Morella from the University of New South Wales (Sydney) said they launched Silicon Quantum Computing — described as Australia’s first quantum computing company — to scale up its silicon-based research. The move fol­lowed an $83 million research deal involving the university, the state and federal governments, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra. “There are more jobs than people, not just in Australia but worldwide,” he said.

Companies usually have to make do with conventional electrical or microwave engineers, training them on the job in quantum science. “Or (companies will) find a quantum physicist and try and teach them microwave engineering and electronic design. There are only a handful of people with the full range of skills, and those people are very valued on the market,” he said.

Universities Offering Quantum Computing Courses

With the theoretical advancements in quantum theory becoming closer to reality, companies are starting to staff up on quantum minds. Currently there is a need for about 20,000 specialists across the US, China, and Japan. To fill this void, universities are beginning to offer courses in quantum technology.

From The Australian: In July (2017), Microsoft and the University of Sydney announced a multi-year partnership to move quantum machines from research into real-world engineering. In April, the Commonwealth Bank (of Australia) revealed it had developed a quantum computer “simulator” to give Australians “a head start on the massive step change in computing power promised by quantum processing”.

Professor Morello of University of New South Wales (Sydney) created classes Fundamentals of Quantum Engineering and Quantum Devices and Computers for his third- and fourth-year students.

University of Syndey’s Pip Pattison said “We expect to make quantum engineering part of our formal curriculum offering in the near future.”

 

Australians design new Qubit

Australia researchers have designed a new type of qubit which is close to creating a real, full-size quantum computer, ScienceAlert reported.

From the article: “If they’re too close, or too far apart, the ‘entanglement’ between quantum bits – which is what makes quantum computers so special – doesn’t occur,” says the researcher who came up with the new qubit, Guilherme Tosi, from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

With traditional Qubits, the distance causes machines to grow large. For smaller machines (tens or dozens of qubits) this is not a problem. But the goal is to create machines with thousands of qubits – so the machines would grow unweildy.

The Australians have created a quantum “flip-flop” that is triggered by electrons rather than magnetism. Magnets take up more space and electronic quantum entanglement can be maintained over a longer distance.

The electronic quantum flip-flop is still a hypothetical design so there are no extant devices. Research continues.

Russians Lead the Quantum Computer Race With 51-Qubit Machine

This article originally appeared in Edgy Labs blog.

An international research team successfully created and tested a record-breaking quantum supercomputer. Running on 51 qubits, the new machine surpasses the theoretical threshold of quantum supremacy.

Like “Schrödinger’s cat”, qubits, or quantum bits, are undecided and can be in two positions simultaneously. In other words, if traditional computers have “bits” that can take the value of 1 or 0 at a time, “qubits” can be either at the same time.

Hence the edge quantum computing has over classical computing in solving very complex calculations much faster.

The Quantum Supremacy Threshold

Qubits allow the development of new computational algorithms, which are much more productive than silicon-based iterations.

The more qubits a quantum computer uses, the more processing power it has.

But most advanced quantum computational systems available today are still far behind supercomputers in terms of their practical applications–although the situation is changing very fast indeed.

There’s a theoretical threshold after which quantum computers would surpass most powerful classical supercomputers. Scientists believe it should happen somewhere around 50 qubits.

Currently, the most advanced quantum chips are below 20 qubits, such as the IBM Q that uses 17 qubits.

Google also is no stranger to the quantum race, as it’s working on a 49-qubit 14-meter machine using superconducting circuits.

51 “Cold Atoms” to Make the World’s Most Advanced Quantum Computer

Google’s 49 qubit computer was supposed to be the highlight of the ICQT 2017 (The International Conference on Quantum Technologies, held July 12th–16th in Moscow).

Designed by John Martinis, a professor at University of California at Santa Barbara, Google’s computer will use a chip embedded with 49 qubits (0.6 cm by 0.6 cm).

But as groundbreaking Google’s machine might be, it was another machine that stole the show.

During the same day of the ICQT 2017 that Martinis was supposed to give a lecture about his quantum device, Mikhail Lukin, the co-founder of RQC, made his own announcement.

Mikhail’s team, including Russian and American scientists, have built the world’s most powerful functional quantum computing system, running on 51 qubits.

The new quantum system uses an array of 51 “cold atoms” in lieu of qubits. Locked up on “laser cells”, these atoms should be kept at extremely low temperatures.

“… we observe a novel type of robust many-body dynamics corresponding to persistent oscillations of crystalline order after a sudden quantum quench,” said researchers in a paper available at arXiv.org. “These observations enable new approaches for exploring many-body phenomena and open the door for realizations of novel quantum algorithms.”

The model was successfully tested in the labs of Harvard University, solving physics problems that silicon chip-based supercomputers would have a hard time replicating.