A UK-based quantum computing company claims to have used an exotic form of subatomic matter for the first time, which they say could revolutionize efforts to create machines infinitely more powerful than conventional computers.
Scientists with United Kingdom And We areQuantinuum, along with collaborators at Caltech and Harvard, say someone other than Abelian has not only produced but manipulated a strange new form of matter to perform a quantum computation.
“We’ve discovered something important that allows people to get excited and believe that this quantum computing paradigm is real,” said Ilyas Khan, founder and product manager at Quantinium.
This alleged breakthrough, which has not been systematically reviewed by independent researchers, could provide an important new alternative approach to methods for building “fault-tolerant” quantum computers.
So far quantum computing has dominated the field Googleand IBM and the Zuchongzhi quantum computer in China.
Their approaches use superconducting materials in which information is encoded in the quantum states of individual particles called “qubits”.
But progress toward quantum computers, competitive with conventional computers, has been hampered by the fact that quantum particles can change their states randomly and without warning—requiring large amounts of error correction in computer designs.
Non-Abelian provides a completely different approach – one that theoretically reduces the need for error correction.
As with most things in the weird subatomic quantum realm, it’s hard for anyone who isn’t noble to get around you.
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Protons, electrons, and photons are described as “quasiparticles” because they defy the laws of how ordinary matter works.
They exist only in two-dimensional space, but, as theorists have long predicted, they could be produced under conditions such as strong electromagnetic fields or the ultracold circuits of experimental quantum computers.
The new approach eliminates the binding of qubits to an individual particle, instead distributing them throughout a cloud of quasiparticles.
Like the difference between a single bird flying through the sky and a flock of birds moving in unison, Kahn explains.
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By manipulating the motion of the quasiparticle cloud, the calculations can be done – at least in theory.
Quantum says it has now demonstrated with its H2 Quantum processor that it has developed in “stealth mode” over the past seven years.
Will this allow Quantum to stay ahead of the competition?
“I’m not going to take sides, it’s definitely a winning approach,” said Professor Stephen Simon, a physicist at the University of Oxford.
“But that puts them in the same league.”
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