Quantum Physics


45-Qubit Quantum Computing

Authors: George Rajna

When two researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) announced in April that they had successfully simulated a 45-qubit quantum circuit, the science community took notice: it was the largest ever simulation of a quantum computer, and another step closer to simulating "quantum supremacy"—the point at which quantum computers become more powerful than ordinary computers. [26] Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College, have discovered a new topological material which may enable fault-tolerant quantum computing. [25] The central idea of TQC is to encode qubits into states of topological phases of matter (see Collection on Topological Phases). [24] One promising approach to building them involves harnessing nanometer-scale atomic defects in diamond materials. [23] Based on early research involving the storage of movies and documents in DNA, Microsoft is developing an apparatus that uses biology to replace tape drives, researchers at the company say. [22] Our brains are often compared to computers, but in truth, the billions of cells in our bodies may be a better analogy. The squishy sacks of goop may seem a far cry from rigid chips and bundled wires, but cells are experts at taking inputs, running them through a complicated series of logic gates and producing the desired programmed output. [21] At Caltech, a group of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Lulu Qian is working to create circuits using not the usual silicon transistors but strands of DNA. [20] Researchers have introduced a new type of "super-resolution" microscopy and used it to discover the precise walking mechanism behind tiny structures made of DNA that could find biomedical and industrial applications. [19] Genes tell cells what to do—for example, when to repair DNA mistakes or when to die—and can be turned on or off like a light switch. Knowing which genes are switched on, or expressed, is important for the treatment and monitoring of disease. Now, for the first time, Caltech scientists have developed a simple way to visualize gene expression in cells deep inside the body using a common imaging technology. [18]

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[v1] 2017-07-03 08:24:06

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