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The First Ever Blueprint For a Mind-Bendingly Massive Quantum Computer Has Been Released

The first-ever open-source blueprint for a usable quantum computer has been made public, providing scientists pursuing the technology with their biggest break yet. Quantum computing would give us incredible processing capability.


This blueprint claims to tackle previously 'uncrackable' issues with current technology, which suggests the revolutionary technology may now be within our grasp. The blueprint describes how to build a quantum computer the size of a football pitch.

One of the team members, Winfried Hensinger from the Ion Quantum Technology Group at Sussex University in the UK, told The Independent, "[W]e are now disclosing the real nuts-and-bolts building design for a large-scale quantum computer."


"Everything in your life will change. We will be able to accomplish certain things that we previously could only imagine."


If you're not familiar with the history of quantum computing, Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, initially proposed the concept in 1982.

Although it hasn't yet been developed in any way that is useful, it is expected to fundamentally alter how we process enormous volumes of data in the future.


Quantum computers are built on qubits, as opposed to conventional computers, which are restricted to the binary 1s and 0s of code bits. Each qubit can exist in the states of 0, 1, or a "superposition" of the two thanks to the spooky quantum phenomenon known as entanglement, which takes place in the matter at its tiniest size.


Qubits may therefore be anything and everything at once, unlike bits, which can only be 1 or 0 at any given time. This entails that they can carry out several computations at once, potentially providing computing capacity that has never before been possible.

How unusual is this? However, the overwhelming agreement is that Google's D-Wave 2X "quantum computer" isn't even a genuine quantum computer, which has the potential to be considerably more revolutionary than that. Google claims that its D-Wave 2X "quantum computer" is 100 million times quicker than your laptop.


Teams from all around the world are vying to construct the first-ever real quantum computer, but progress has been slow due to the difficulty of utilizing the peculiar effects of entanglement.

The number of qubits in devices that scientists have so far only just managed to create isn't going to be of any service to anyone.


According to Paul Rincon of BBC News, "lab machines suffer from a type of drop-out called decoherence when qubits lose their ambiguity and become clear 1s and 0s – a technical barrier to developing real quantum computers."


Hensinger said to him, "With our approach, we incorporate a means to fix these faults, providing the potential of building a large-scale gadget.

"I need a lot more qubits, maybe up to 10 billion quantum bits eventually, for some of the really exciting applications of quantum computers, like inventing new drugs, understanding the structure of reality itself, understanding the Universe, or designing new materials, instead of 10 or 15 quantum bits."


Hensinger and his colleagues claim that their new design builds on current technology to get beyond the major obstacles standing in the way of creating practical, large-scale quantum computers that might be used outside of the lab.

The idea is to employ charged ions (atoms) trapped in magnetic fields as qubits. These would be present in a system of thousands of hand-sized, square modules.


Because these square modules could be swapped out or added to as needed, you could hypothetically construct a quantum computer that was as large as you wanted.


The magnetic fields would protect the roughly 2,500 ion qubits inside of each of these modules from interference and maintain their quantum states.

As soon as the computer is turned on, operations are carried out through ion interactions, which are made possible by changing the modular grid in a way that gently directs the ions into one another. Imagine Pacman navigating his tangled web of arbitrary routes.


The team says that although earlier quantum computer ideas called for utilizing fibre optic connections to connect the various computer components, their system moves ions using electric fields instead.

In comparison to other designs that need superconducting materials to be cooled to unworkable levels, they claim that their method enables 100,000 times quicker communication rates between individual quantum computing modules and enables the computer to run at normal temperature.


Another advancement achieved, according to the scientists, is the switch from utilising individual lasers to hold the ion qubits in place to employing a microwave radiation field to cover the entire computer system.

According to Elizabeth Gibney for Nature, "individual qubits need only apply a small voltage to tune them in and out of interaction with the larger field."


The blueprint, which is currently accessible to all research teams, may be used to construct a quantum computer large enough to occupy a whole building.

According to Hensinger and his colleagues, they want to launch their own version in just two years.


According to him, this is all the engineering necessary to create such a gadget and is no longer just academic research. He said this to The Independent.


Let's just say that at this point, we're wary yet cautiously optimistic - a feeling shared by other experts in the industry.

While the plan has some difficult obstacles of its own, according to Andrea Morello, a physicist from the University of New South Wales in Australia who has been developing his own quantum computing technology, "I do think this is a landmark paper, and it will be very influential in the community for many years ahead."


Science Advances has published the findings.

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