Feeds

Boffins spin a solid state qubit in a nucleus

Reliable quantum memory in silicon

The Power of One Infographic

A group of researchers from the University of New South Wales has produced a functioning solid-state qubit with a read-out fidelity of 99.8 percent, taking the world another step along the path towards a functioning quantum computer.

The team used the magnetic spin of the phosphorus nucleus as the basis for their experiment, published in Nature on April 18 (US time). They claim that accuracy rivals the 2012 Nobel-awarded “ion trap” – a single atom trapped in a vacuum chamber.

According to Associate Professor Andrea Morello from the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at UNSW, the team used magnetic resonance – as used in MRI scans – to “control and read-out the nuclear spin of a single atom in real time.”

The weak magnetic field of a phosphorus atom, they explain, exists either as “up” or “down”, or, in the quantum world, as a superposition of both. This experiment was about storage, rather than superposition: the information was stored by controlling the up-down direction of the nucleus' magnetic spin.

The big advance, the team claims, is that this experiment doesn't need the vacuum chamber of the ion trap. Instead, Morello explains, the phosphorus atom is “in a silicon chip that can be wired up and operated electrically like normal integrated circuits.”

In a previous experiment, the group had manipulated a whole atom; this time, they're working with the nucleus only. While the nucleus is harder to work with – it only occupies a millionth of the atom's diameter – it's also nearly immune from disturbances from the outside world.

“Our nuclear spin qubit can store information for longer times and with greater accuracy. This will greatly enhance our ability to carry out complex quantum calculations once we put many of these qubits together”, explained UNSW PhD student Jarryd Pla, lead experimental author of the paper. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.