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article imageInvestment in Swedish quantum computing

By Tim Sandle     Nov 26, 2017 in Science
A Swedish university has received a large grant to continue its research into developing a quantum computer. This could place Sweden and the Chalmers University of Technology at the forefront of this future technology.
The current status with quantum computing research is that technologists have learnt how to control individual quantum systems like individual atoms, electrons and particles of light. This opens the door to new possibilities for super-fast computers.
The next step in computing
Quantum computing takes advantage of the properties of subatomic particles, which are able to exist in more than one state at any point in time. Controlling this means that operations can be performed far faster and using less energy than with any classical computers. To operate, a quantum computer will use quantum bits (qubits); these exist at two states. Moreover, they can store far more information than the binary formats used by conventional computers (the one or zero). This because qubits exist in any superposition of these values.
This technology paves the way for ultra-fast computers, intercept-proof communications and hyper-sensitive measurement methods. Each of these innovations will benefit businesses and scientific research. There are challenges as well since future quantum computers could well undermine and even exploit Bitcoin’s security protocols.
A quantum revolution
The new initiative is to be called the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology under control of Chalmers University of Technology. The objective of the intiative is to implement the ‘second quantum revolution’. For this task fifty researchers will begin a decade-long research program, starting from January 2018.
By the second quantum revolution, this is built on the first quantum revolution in the mid-twentieth century which heralded the laser and transistor.
The first big breakthrough
The starting point will be with engineering of a quantum computer based on superconducting circuits. According to Per Delsing, who is the Professor of Quantum Device Physics at Chalmers University of Technology: “Our goal is to have a functioning quantum computer with at least a hundred qubits. Such a computer has far greater computing power than the best supercomputers of today and can be used, for example, to solve optimization problems, advanced machine learning, and heavy calculations of the properties of molecules.”
Whether the Swedish project gets there first will depend on how well parallel activities in U.S., Canada, Japan and China proceed.
In related news, a breakthrough in quantum computing processing has taken place, as reported by Digital Journal in the article "The Grover algorithm: Fine tuning for quantum computing."
More about quantum computing, Computing, Quantum physics
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