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RESEARCHERS REACH RECORD-BREAKING PRECISION TO BUILD A QUANTUM COMPUTER
[One analogy that has been used to explain the concept of quantum omputing is that it is like being able to read all of the books in a library at the same time.]


AUGUST 9 -A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files The University of Oxford Monday announced that its researchers had achieved a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9 percent precision, reaching the benchmark required theoretically to build a quantum computer. The team achieved the logic gate, which places two atoms in a state of quantum entanglement and is the fundamental building block of quantum computing, with a precision substantially greater than the previous world record, according to the university. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that occurs when two particles stay connected, such that an action on one affects the other, even when they are separated by great distances. This mechanism is at the heart of quantum technologies. “The precision of the gate is a measure of how well this works: in our case, 99.9 percent precision means that, on average, 999 times out of 1,000 we will have generated the entangled state correctly, and one time out of 1,000 something went wrong,” said Professor David Lucas from the University of Oxford, who is one of the authors of the study. Quantum computers, which function according to the laws of quantum physics, have the potential to dwarf the processing power of today’s computers, able to process huge amounts of information all at once. READ MORE...

ALSO: How Quantum Computers Work


The Bloch sphere is a representation of a qubit, the fundamental building block of quantum computers. IMAGE USED UNDER THE GNU FREE DOCUMENTATION LICENSE 1.2 The massive amount of processing power generated by computer manufacturers has not yet been able to quench our thirst for speed and computing capacity. In 1947, American computer engineer Howard Aiken said that just six electronic digital computers would satisfy the computing needs of the United States. Others have made similar errant predictions about the amount of computing power that would support our growing technological needs. Of course, Aiken didn't count on the large amounts of data generated by scientific research, the proliferation of personal computers or the emergence of the Internet, which have only fueled our need for more, more and more computing power. Will we ever have the amount of computing power we need or want? If, as Moore's Law states, the number of transistors on a microprocessor continues to double every 18 months, the year 2020 or 2030 will find the circuits on a microprocessor measured on an atomic scale. And the logical next step will be to create quantum computers, which will harness the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks. Quantum computers have the potential to perform certain calculations significantly faster than any silicon-based computer. READ MORE...

ALSO: Is the desktop computer going the way of the dodo bird?


As new computing products become available, many pundits have been predicting that people will abandon their old desktops entirely. ROSS ANANIA/PHOTODISC/GETTY IMAGES The personal computer is perhaps the most significant technological advancement hatched from the human mind over the past 30 years. It has spawned a world driven by technology. But innovation can be fickle, and in recent years, the desktop computer seems to be losing some of its steam. Advances in technology have made it possible to create smaller and lighter computers. No longer underpowered and heavy, notebooks are now commonplace, and tablets, netbooks and even smartphones are able to do tasks that used to require larger machines. Like just about everything, there are two sides to the story. Some data suggests the desktop PC is still necessary and it isn't easily replaced. Other data support the notion that desktops are becoming increasingly obsolete. So what's the deal? This article intends to give an adequate look at both sides of the spectrum.
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Researchers reach important milestone in quantum computer development


A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

LONDON, AUGUST 15, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Philippines News Agency August 9, 2016 - The University of Oxford Monday announced that its researchers had achieved a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9 percent precision, reaching the benchmark required theoretically to build a quantum computer.

The team achieved the logic gate, which places two atoms in a state of quantum entanglement and is the fundamental building block of quantum computing, with a precision substantially greater than the previous world record, according to the university.

Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that occurs when two particles stay connected, such that an action on one affects the other, even when they are separated by great distances. This mechanism is at the heart of quantum technologies.

“The precision of the gate is a measure of how well this works: in our case, 99.9 percent precision means that, on average, 999 times out of 1,000 we will have generated the entangled state correctly, and one time out of 1,000 something went wrong,” said Professor David Lucas from the University of Oxford, who is one of the authors of the study.

Quantum computers, which function according to the laws of quantum physics, have the potential to dwarf the processing power of today’s computers, able to process huge amounts of information all at once.

READ MORE...

A quantum computer is a machine that processes information according to the rules of quantum physics, which govern the behavior of microscopic particles at the scale of atoms and smaller, said Dr Chris Ballance from the University of Oxford, another author of the study.

Quantum technology is a complex area, but one analogy that has been used to explain the concept of quantum computing is that it is like being able to read all of the books in a library at the same time, whereas conventional computing is like having to read them one after another, according to the University of Oxford.

“Achieving a logic gate with 99.9 percent precision is another important milestone on the road to developing a quantum computer. A quantum logic gate on its own does not constitute a quantum computer, but you can’t build the computer without them,” said Professor Lucas.

The study is carried out by researchers from the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub, which is led by the University of Oxford, and has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.


FROM THE WEB

How Quantum Computers Work BY KEVIN BONSOR & JONATHAN STRICKLAND TECH | DESKTOPS


The Bloch sphere is a representation of a qubit, the fundamental building block of quantum computers.

The massive amount of processing power generated by computer manufacturers has not yet been able to quench our thirst for speed and computing capacity. In 1947, American computer engineer Howard Aiken said that just six electronic digital computers would satisfy the computing needs of the United States.

Others have made similar errant predictions about the amount of computing power that would support our growing technological needs. Of course, Aiken didn't count on the large amounts of data generated by scientific research, the proliferation of personal computers or the emergence of the Internet, which have only fueled our need for more, more and more computing power.

Will we ever have the amount of computing power we need or want? If, as Moore's Law states, the number of transistors on a microprocessor continues to double every 18 months, the year 2020 or 2030 will find the circuits on a microprocessor measured on an atomic scale.

And the logical next step will be to create quantum computers, which will harness the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks. Quantum computers have the potential to perform certain calculations significantly faster than any silicon-based computer.

READ MORE...

Defining the Quantum Computer

The Turing machine, developed by Alan Turing in the 1930s, is a theoretical device that consists of tape of unlimited length that is divided into little squares. Each square can either hold a symbol (1 or 0) or be left blank.

A read-write device reads these symbols and blanks, which gives the machine its instructions to perform a certain program.

Does this sound familiar? Well, in a quantum Turing machine, the difference is that the tape exists in a quantum state, as does the read-write head. This means that the symbols on the tape can be either 0 or 1 or a superposition of 0 and 1; in other words the symbols are both 0 and 1 (and all points in between) at the same time.

While a normal Turing machine can only perform one calculation at a time, a quantum Turing machine can perform many calculations at once.

Today's computers, like a Turing machine, work by manipulating bits that exist in one of two states: a 0 or a 1.

Quantum computers aren't limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in superposition. Qubits represent atoms, ions, photons or electrons and their respective control devices that are working together to act as computer memory and a processor.

Because a quantum computer can contain these multiple states simultaneously, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today's most powerful supercomputers.


MORE FROM THE WEB

Is the desktop computer going the way of the dodo bird? BY JOSH BRIGGS TECH | DESKTOPS


As new computing products become available, many pundits have been predicting that people will abandon their old desktops entirely. ROSS ANANIA/PHOTODISC/GETTY IMAGES

The personal computer is perhaps the most significant technological advancement hatched from the human mind over the past 30 years.

It has spawned a world driven by technology. But innovation can be fickle, and in recent years, the desktop computer seems to be losing some of its steam. Advances in technology have made it possible to create smaller and lighter computers.

No longer underpowered and heavy, notebooks are now commonplace, and tablets, netbooks and even smartphones are able to do tasks that used to require larger machines.

Like just about everything, there are two sides to the story.

Some data suggests the desktop PC is still necessary and it isn't easily replaced.

Other data support the notion that desktops are becoming increasingly obsolete. So what's the deal? This article intends to give an adequate look at both sides of the spectrum.

READ MORE...

Desktops Are Here to Stay

For a long time, the relatively high costs of notebook computers made owning one more of a luxury than a reality. Over time though, the technology has become less expensive and notebooks are more affordable than ever.

But even though the price of notebook computers has come down due to technological advances over the past 10 years, they still aren't as cheap as desktops.

Especially when you consider what you learned about in the beginning of the article when we talked about opportunity costs.

Other Threats to Desktop Computers


The Sony Vaio VAIO Lifestyle PC VG-P50-series computer, seen here at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, is a full-function PC with an 8-inch screen. ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES.

Though it may seem strange to compare them to desktop computers, or even laptops, smartphones are gaining popularity as mobile computing devices.

At first, they were viewed as the ultimate gadgets. Recently, though, higher-powered processors and a robust network of developers creating applications for the devices has made smartphones explode in popularity.

Keyboard and screen sizes are considerably smaller than you'd see on laptop or netbook computers. Storage space is also less for smartphones than for computers. But smartphones are becoming more like computers when it comes to working online.

A recent survey of small businesses, conducted by virtual file server company Egnyte, revealed some interesting trends in smartphone usage. It found that 25 percent of respondents prefer conducting business on their smartphones rather than their PCs [source: McCracken].

Even more telling, close to three-quarters of those surveyed felt accessing data through a file server would increase productivity. This trend clearly reveals the popularity of the smartphone and shows just how far the technology has come.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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