The breakthrough shows how a common electron can be used to mediate the quantum state of entangled atoms embedded using traditional chip manufacturing techniques, greatly reducing errors typically created when the quantum state is observed. It is unclear if this indicates quantum computing will arrive faster than expected or eventually democratize it to work on-premises, but it is likely both of these. Everyone involved with security should now be on high alert that quantum computing will be in the hands of our adversaries much faster than originally thought.
Mercator will publish a report soon that looks at the threat quantum represents to our security and, spoiler alert, our entire internet and digital security infrastructure will become transparent when quantum computers and requisite programming become available to adversaries.
“Today’s paper describes how his team overcame this problem by using an electron encompassing two nuclei of phosphorus atoms.
“If you have two nuclei that are connected to the same electron, you can make them do a quantum operation,” says Dr. Mateusz Madzik, one of the lead experimental authors.
The three-qubit system paves the way to scaling up the quantum processor in the future, because the electron can be easily entangled with other electrons or moved across the chip. (The three-qubit entangled state of nuclei and electron paves the way to scaling up the quantum processor in the future. The electron can be easily entangled with other electrons, or physically moved across the chip. In this way, the UNSW team will be able to manufacture and operate large arrays of qubits capable of robust and useful computations.)
“While you don’t operate the electron, those nuclei safely store their quantum information. But now you have the option of making them talk to each other via the electron, to realize universal quantum operations that can be adapted to any computational problem.”
“This really is an unlocking technology,” says Dr. Serwan Asaad, another lead experimental author. “The nuclear spins are the core quantum processor. If you entangle them with the electron, then the electron can then be moved to another place and entangled with other qubit nuclei further afield, opening the way to making large arrays of qubits capable of robust and useful computations.”
David Jamieson, research leader at the University of Melbourne, adds: “The phosphorous atoms were introduced in the silicon chip using ion implantation, the same method used in all existing silicon computer chips. This ensures that our quantum breakthrough is compatible with the broader semiconductor industry.”
All existing computers deploy some form of error correction and data redundancy, but the laws of quantum physics pose severe restrictions on how the correction takes place in quantum computer. Prof. Morello explains: “You typically need error rates below 1 percent, to apply quantum error correction protocols. Having now achieved this goal, we can start designing silicon quantum processors that scale up and operate reliably for useful calculations.””
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group