back to article Boffins pull off room-temp quantum computing with home-grown gems

One of the very many reasons there won't be quantum computing any time soon is that the quantum bits (qubits) need to be at absolute zero - not very practical for the average server room, much less the lowly desktop. Mikhail Lukin, Georg Kucsko and Christian Latta 'The room temperature thing is good, but how do we get rid of …

COMMENTS

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  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Wow! What is next ?

    If they can get room temperature superconductors - we will all be happy!

  2. JDX Gold badge

    it looks feasible to increase the life span into the range of hours. At that point, a host of real-world applications become possible

    Surely even 1s is enough for real-world usage since we're talking about computation rather than storage?

    1. Steve Evans

      1s sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like all they just need a bit of a refresh. Exactly the same as DRAM.

  3. Roger Kynaston
    Joke

    Will they

    be calling the chip that they make out of these Bob?

    1. Jimmy 1

      Re: Will they

      A diamond is forever - unless your name is Bob. More appropriately they could just call them greedy wankers.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Will they

      Not unless they want the data to be corrupt.

  4. TRT Silver badge

    Wow!

    And it has a cool green glow too! Does it also make a high-tech hum?

    1. Mips
      Childcatcher

      Re: Wow!

      Reminds me of....

      An old PET computer

      Radar screens

      Green screens before the blue screen of death

      Old tech. You know what I mean.

      Is this Back to the Future?

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: A high tech hum?

      I'd imagine a device like this would make a satisfying noise like an unlicensed nuclear accelerator being fired up.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: A high tech hum?

        Or something like Orac.

  5. Tim Worstal

    The expense of diamonds

    Manufactured industrial diamonds are pretty cheap actually.

    Last I recall, 50 cents to $5 a carat depending upon size (the finer the powder the cheaper).

  6. Morzel
    Boffin

    No safety goggles?

    Surely these would be required in a laser lab worth its while?

    1. Shonko Kid
      Boffin

      Re: No safety goggles?

      Not really, any laser worth having isn't going to be bothered by goggles you can actually see through.

    2. Tim Starling

      Re: No safety goggles?

      I'm guessing that photo was taken with a tripod and a long, long exposure. The beam looks like a solid line, a long exposure is the only way to get that effect. It usually comes out looking very nice, but there's a bit too much scattered light here.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Yeah right

    They are actually playing Half-Life 2. You can see the underground sewer of City 17 on that greenish screen,

  8. brooxta

    diamond byte

    Glad to see carbon making a comeback here. Back in the day (12yrs... ?) we tried using populated buckyballs inside carbon nanotubes to create qubits in a structure with direction dependent conductivity for read/write addressing.

    It was all a bit of a pipe dream. The problem was getting the nanotubes to line up nicely. They really didn't line up well, tangled up like steel wool. Got some great pics of N (and various other elements and molecules) inside C60 inside nanotubes though :-)

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: diamond byte

      Was it like a taco inside a taco within a Taco Bell that's inside a KFC that's within a mall that's inside your nanotube?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. brooxta

        Re: diamond byte

        I couldn't honestly say because I have no idea what "taco" or "taco bell" mean. But it sounds like you have the right kind of idea, though your scales are out by 10-12 orders of magnitude, depending on the dimensions of your mall (which I think I know what you mean by).

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: diamond byte

          Sorry, it was a (mis)quote from South Park. I assumed some people would get it. I was wrong, judging by the downvotes.

  9. Martin 50
    Pint

    Idiots, don't they know the solution is Graphene, it always is; why do they always leave trying that until last? Hmm, probably so they can get a few diamonds on the budget first; maybe not so idiotic.

  10. Oodles of Noodles

    I was going great with the artical

    until got past the words "Boffins pull off". After that I suddenly realised that my scientific knowledge was about (absolute) zero and I hardly understood a word. :(

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      Boffin

      Re: I was going great with the artiFIcal

      Basically, the problem is too much excitement.

      They now know what they are doing -which is slightly different to knowing how to do it.

      When it comes to explaining/understanding science things it pays to remember certain "tells" such as :

      "Massive amounts of" or

      "What we need is"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was going great with the artical

      ... until you tried to spell it?

  11. Spoonsinger
    Coat

    Oh, Edmund... can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of purest Green?

    IGMC

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Oh, Edmund... can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of purest Green?

      I know a bloke in the pub who can get you as many nuggets of purest green as you like, nice stuff too :p

  12. Tim Starling

    To be used for paying for stuff, sure

    Definitely a promising architecture. I don't have access to the Science article, but I found a preprint from the same group describing it: http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.2864 .

    Maybe the boffins hope this technology will be used for securing bank transactions, but I bet their military backers instead want to use it for snooping on civilian communications using Shor's algorithm. DARPA, AFOSR (Air Force Office of Scientific Research) and MURI (a DoD grant program) are listed as funders.

  13. PyLETS
    Boffin

    RSA problem solved

    You can be sure that once GCHQ/NSA build one of these practical enough to run Shor's algorithm on it for 1024 Qbits or more, we won't know about it, but we might want to increase our keylengths just in case.

    1. RodB

      Re: RSA problem solved

      I don't think increasing the keylengths would help much, maybe it will slow them down for couple of milisecs but thats about it. We need a on the fly one time pad system using pidgins to distribute them of some sort to stay safe :)

  14. Andy Farley
    WTF?

    Quantum computing

    To me it reads like "We do this computer thing, then this computer thing THEN THE MAGIC HAPPENS".

    I guess I'm obsolete.

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