Whereas a classical bit can be in two states — at either of the two poles of the sphere — a qubit can be any point on the sphere.
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This means a computer using these bits can store a huge amount more information using less energy than a classical computer. Until recently, it seemed like Google was leading the pack when it came to creating a quantum computer that could surpass the abilities of conventional computers. In a Nature article published in March , the search giant set out ambitious plans to commercialise quantum technology in the next five years.
Even that, however, was far from stable, as the system could only hold its quantum microstate for 90 microseconds, a record, but far from the times needed to make quantum computing practically viable. Where IBM has gone further than Google, however, is making quantum computers commercially available. Since , it has offered researchers the chance to run experiments on a five-qubit quantum computer via the cloud and at the end of started making its qubit system available online too.
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But quantum computing is by no means a two-horse race. Californian startup Rigetti is focusing on the stability of its own systems rather than just the number of qubits and it could be the first to build a quantum computer that people can actually use. Intel, too, has skin in the game. In February the company announced that it had found a way of fabricating quantum chips from silicon, which would make it much easier to produce chips using existing manufacturing methods.
Classical and Quantum Information - 1st Edition
Quantum computers operate on completely different principles to existing computers, which makes them really well suited to solving particular mathematical problems, like finding very large prime numbers. Faculty members at the Institute for Quantum Computing IQC exploring the fundamental properties of quantum information include:.
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Institute for Quantum Computing Research. Recent publications Supercurrent interference in semiconductor nanowire Josephson junctions. Classical and Quantum Gravity , Volume 29 , Number Get permission to re-use this article. Create citation alert.
Classical and Quantum Information
Buy this article in print. Journal RSS feed. Sign up for new issue notifications. Over the past few years, a new field of high research intensity has emerged that blends together concepts from gravitational physics and quantum computing. Known as relativistic quantum information, or RQI, the field aims to understand the relationship between special and general relativity and quantum information. Since the original discoveries of Hawking radiation and the Unruh effect, it has been known that incorporating the concepts of quantum theory into relativistic settings can produce new and surprising effects.
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