Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NIST Demonstrates Better Memory With Quantum Computer Bits

Date:
August 11, 2005
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used charged atoms (ions) to demonstrate a quantum physics version of computer memory lasting longer than 10 seconds -- more than 100,000 times longer than in previous experiments on the same ions. The advance improves prospects for making practical, reliable quantum computers. Such devices could break today's best encryption systems, accelerate database searching or simulate complex biological systems to help design new drugs.

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)have used charged atoms (ions) to demonstrate a quantum physics versionof computer memory lasting longer than 10 seconds--more than 100,000times longer than in previous experiments on the same ions. The advanceimproves prospects for making practical, reliable quantum computers(which make use of the properties of quantum systems rather thantransistors for performing calculations or storing information).Quantum computers, if they can be built, could break today's bestencryption systems, accelerate database searching, develop novelproducts such as fraud-proof digital signatures or simulate complexbiological systems to help design new drugs.

As described in the Aug. 5, 2005, issue of Physical Review Letters,NIST scientists stored information in single beryllium ions for longerperiods of time by using a different pair of the ions' internal energylevels to represent 1 and 0 than was used in the group's previousquantum computing experiments. This new set of quantum states isunaffected by slight variations in magnetic fields, which previouslycaused memory losses in ions stored in electromagnetic traps.

Quantum memory must be able to store "superpositions," an unusualproperty of quantum physics in which a quantum bit (qubit) such as anion represents both 0 and 1 at the same time. The new approach enablesqubits to maintain superpositions over 1 million times longer thanmight be needed to carry out the information processing steps in afuture quantum computer. The advance is, therefore, an important steptoward the goal of designing a "fault tolerant" quantum computerbecause it significantly reduces the computing resources needed tocorrect memory errors.

In related experiments also described in the paper, NIST scientistsdemonstrated that pairs of "entangled" ions can retain their quantumstates for up to about 7 seconds. Entanglement is another unusualproperty of quantum physics that correlates the behavior of physicallyseparated ions. Superposition and entanglement are the two keyproperties expected to give quantum computers great power.

###

The research was supportedby the Advanced Research and Development Activity/National SecurityAgency. More information about NIST's quantum computing research isavailable at http://qubit.nist.gov.

C. Langer, R. Ozeri, J.D. Jost, J. Chiaverini, B. DeMarco, A. Ben-Kish,R.B. Blakestad, J. Britton, D.B. Hume, W.M. Itano, D. Leibfried, R.Reichle, T. Rosenband, T. Schaetz, P.O. Schmidt and D. J. Wineland.Long-lived qubit memory using atomic ions. Physical Review Letters, 95,060502 (2005).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "NIST Demonstrates Better Memory With Quantum Computer Bits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050811085420.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2005, August 11). NIST Demonstrates Better Memory With Quantum Computer Bits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050811085420.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "NIST Demonstrates Better Memory With Quantum Computer Bits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050811085420.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins