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Scientist Explains How an 'Actual' Blueprint for a Quantum Computer Works

Feb 17, 2017 11:54 AM EST

A team of researchers has revealed that they have already published a blueprint for an actual, working quantum computer.

If implemented, the blueprint shows that the first quantum computer will be of magnitude size, as large as a football pitch. Of course, there obviously needs work to be done in lessening its size. However, the mere fact that scientists have presented a step-by-step process of making a quantum computer is an ambitious claim in its existence and possibility.

The blueprint is a result of intensive research from Winfried Hensinger of the Ion Quantum Technology Group at Suxxes Universtiy in the United Kingdom. He told Independent that his team will be publishing their manual-esque study soon, and has offered his insights on the recent discovery. 

Paul Rincon explained to BBC News that a so-called decoherence hinders quantum computers to be powerful. Decoherence, whicj lab machines tend to suffer from, is a kind of drop-out called where qubits lose "ambiguity" and become just 1s and 0s. 

According to the study, published in the journal Science Advances, Hensinger used ions trapped in magnetic fields as the qubits, and these would exist in a system of thousands of square, hand-sized modules. Each of them will have at least 2,500 ion qubits, all shielded from damage by magnetic fields. This helps them preserve their "states," which disallows outside interference from forcing them to be decoherent.  

Back in 1982, Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman was the first one who theorized the possibility of such system by combining the principles of both quantum mechanics and binary. He said that if processing relies on bits, as in 0s and 1s, to make stable electronic processes, then it is possible to subject them to the rules of quantum mechanics. That is, with concepts such as quantum entanglement, allow the 0s and 1s to be 1s and 0s respectively.

He calls this units qubits, and these can be the elements of a potential "quantum computer," such as the one in the blueprint.

Companies are already applying the quantum computer blueprint on their concepts. For instance, Google claims that its D-Wave 2X device is a "quantum computer" that is 100 million times faster than a working laptop. However, it is not a proper quantum computer, which leaves room for speculation how much powerful a full-fledged quantum computer will be.

Teams all around the world are now currently racing to build the first ever legitimate quantum computer, which is no easy feat as harnessing the strange power of entanglement is not easy. Scientists have barely even able to build devices with more than 10 or 15 qubits.

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