Scientists create first electronic quantum processor

From breaking science news site Eurekalert:

A team led by Yale University researchers has created the first rudimentary solid-state quantum processor, taking another step toward the ultimate dream of building a quantum computer.

They also used the two-qubit superconducting chip to successfully run elementary algorithms, such as a simple search, demonstrating quantum information processing with a solid-state device for the first time. Their findings will appear in Nature‘s advanced online publication June 28.

“…This is the first time they’ve been possible in an all-electronic device that looks and feels much more like a regular microprocessor.”

The key that made the two-qubit processor possible was getting the qubits to switch “on” and “off” abruptly, so that they exchanged information quickly and only when the researchers wanted them to.

The article is a good read. Get your head around their example of how quantum computation might be different from the kind of computation we’re used to:

Imagine having four phone numbers, including one for a friend, but not knowing which number belonged to that friend. You would typically have to try two to three numbers before you dialed the right one. A quantum processor, on the other hand, can find the right number in only one try.