Discovery May Simplify Quantum Computer Development

Computerworld Australia (08/07/12) Byron Connolly

 Australian National University (ANU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and University of Queensland researchers have suggested that background interference in quantum-level measurements, known as quantum discord, could be the key to discovering quantum computing’s potential.  Previously, quantum computing researchers have thought that quantum entanglement, a very difficult phenomenon to achieve, was the only way to develop quantum computing technologies.  However, the ANU, NUS, and Queensland researchers have demonstrated that quantum discord, a more robust and easy to access phenomenon, also could be used to develop quantum technology.  “In the long term, we want to have a revised understanding of what makes a quantum computer tick,” says ANU professor Ping Koy Lam.  “The hope is that we can simplify how quantum computers work and [make them] more accessible.”  NUS researchers first discovered the direct connection between quantum power and quantum discord, and then ANU scientists encoded information onto laser light to demonstrate the unlocking of this quantum resource.  “These results show that discord has potential that can be unlocked for quantum technologies,” Lam says.

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