Silicon Advances Quantum Computing

Quantum computers have long been an area of research in computer science. If the power of quantum mechanics could be harnessed in the form of such computers, our computing power would exponentially increase.

Quantum computers have the potential to be so powerful due to the way it computes information. A normal computer uses individual bits of information called bits. A bit can either be worth 0 or 1, because normally information cannot be two different things at once. However, through a process called entanglement, a quantum computer could produce bits of information that are both 0 and 1 simultaneously. These are called quantum bits, or qubits. This would mean that quantum computers could solve problems two times faster than any of our current computers.

However, quantum bits are very unstable, and a huge number of entangled particles would be needed to stabilize qubits and cover for any computing or calculation errors. That is where Dr. Tom Watson from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and his team intervened.

They think they might have found a solution: silicon. Silicon is a material that is already being used for creating the big numbers required for current computers. After a few tests, Dr. Watson’s team successfully created a two-qubit silicon processor that has successfully performed test calculations with no error. It is a small start, but one that could potentially end with amazing results.

Virginia Rufina Marquez-Pacheco
Science & Tech Editor

Originally Published in Vol. 47 Issue 9 on February 21st, 2018

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