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Atomic Antennae Transmit Quantum Information

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the quantumnal-equinox dept.

Science 57

intellitech writes "The Austrian research group led by physicist Rainer Blatt suggests a fundamentally novel architecture for quantum computation. They have experimentally demonstrated quantum antennae, which enable the exchange of quantum information between two separate memory cells located on a computer chip. This offers new opportunities to build practical quantum computers."

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57 comments

Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325666)

Indeed.

Re:Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325696)

Zoidberg! Get back to work!

Plural? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325740)

Isn't "antennae" the plural for insect appendages? "antennas" is the plural for transmission devices.

Re:Plural? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329736)

I may be showing my age but when I was young antennae was more or less universal, I prefer the usage you stated, but it depends on whom you ask. The biological appendages are always antennae, but the electronic device may be either according to some sources: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/antenna [macmillandictionary.com] http://www.oxfordadvancedlearnersdictionary.com/dictionary/antenna [oxfordadva...ionary.com]

In a few years we can count on it becoming "antenna's"

Re:Plural? (1)

jwbales (92374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35330644)

Well I guess I'm really showing my age. When I was young it was neither radio antennae nor radio antennas, it was radio aerials.

Ansibles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325762)

So without paying much attention to the article (in the grand tradition of slashdot!) this is a proof of the "ansibles" used in Ender's Game?

Re:Ansibles? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325988)

Fucking jackoff.

What about "no cloning"? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326930)

So without paying much attention to the article (in the grand tradition of slashdot!) this is a proof of the "ansibles" used in Ender's Game?

That's what I thought when I RTFA. At first sight, "the new technology offers the possibility to distribute entanglement" seems to violate the "no cloning" theorem [wikipedia.org] , which is what impedes FTL quantum communications.

Re:Ansibles? (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327446)

Used in Ender's Game, but not from it; the term was directly borrowed from Le Guin's Hainish series.

final transmissions (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325792)

pardon us for looking so primitive/barbaric at this juncture. it's really not our nature, but much of our time & resources have been commandeered by a band of greed/fear/ego based megalomaniacs who do not have our best interests in mind. quite the opposite in fact. help if you can. thanks.

best regards, see you soon?
many of us

Re:final transmissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325944)

Kilgore Trout, is that you?

IEEE (2)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35325880)

IEEE 802.11q... 'nuff said.

Wireless-Q has the defect that you can't broadcast your SSID since that your require devices to observe the signal first first before connecting, which would result in a quantum paradox.

Re:IEEE (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35328656)

"since that your require devices to observe the signal first first before connecting, which would result in a quantum paradox."

sounds a lot like this free-will / choice thing they go on about.

Re:IEEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35334528)

But, if you don't observe the paradox while it's happening does it really exist?

Perhaps if an optimist programs it with the correct improbabilities and turns it on with a really hot cup of tea it will work!

Re:IEEE (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336584)

I'd get my head seriously looked at if that happened.

I would have thought that the post I replied to, why couldn't you superposition the SSID/s and probably get the right one depending on how you made the measurement/s.

IEEE 802.11q would be meta not relative.

quantum bla bla bla (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35325982)

There hasn't, isn't, and to my mind never will be a practical quantum computer. Given the amount of time people have been failing at building one or even demonstrating that it should be possible, I'm not particularly uncertain about my opinion. Counterproof?

Re:quantum bla bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326030)

I reckon them there "book smart" engineers are never gonna make a horseless carriage. Men been usin' horses since the good lawd had the grace to put 'em on the planet. Ain't nobody gonna change my mind, shure nuff.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326112)

No, the problem here is one of the probability of implementing a quantum algorithm with a sufficient number of qubits to be useful. Although I'm being flamebaity by whining about the number of failures (or, more precisely, highly overrated demonstrations), that's not really relevant. What's going wrong is people assuming some particular thing can be done just because it "would be cool" to actually implement all this fashionable research.

That the last 10 years have just about shown that 3x5=15 - although not all demonstrations were really quantum - doesn't mean we can scale to factoring some 1024-bit key.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326808)

The trouble lies more in the press releases about the research. I don't think any of the researchers have any illusions about what's needed for a functioning quantum computer or how long it will take the get there.

There are three reasons why people keep working towards building a quantum computer despite the huge effort that it requires:

1) A lot of new and interesting fundamental physics gets uncovered along the way.

2) The fundamentally increased scaling in computing power for a given number of bits is too compelling to ignore.

3) Because it's hard to do.

Quantum computers will happen, just not 5 or 10 or even 20 years from now. Until then, chill out and enjoy your 32 nm classical transistors.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326084)

There hasn't, isn't, and to my mind never will be a practical quantum computer. Given the amount of time people have been failing at building one or even demonstrating that it should be possible, I'm not particularly uncertain about my opinion. Counterproof?

Counter-proof:
You, being human, have a long history of being wrong. It's probably the case that you're wrong again.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326856)

Replace 'human' with 'FuckingNickName' and your point is twice as valid.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326902)

I'm of two minds of the OP. The idea that just because something seems like it's unlikely to be done, it will never be done is counter to all human technology development to date. People said the same thing about flight, super sonic travel, computers that fit on a desk, etc.

That being said, there are a few things that simply cannot be done, and quantum stuff is odd enough that i wouldn't even begin to make a judgement on whether or not practical quantum computing falls into the former category of "it's hard, but some day we'll figure it out" or the same category as perpetual motion and "free energy".

The difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327120)

That being said, there are a few things that simply cannot be done, and quantum stuff is odd enough that i wouldn't even begin to make a judgement on whether or not practical quantum computing falls into the former category of "it's hard, but some day we'll figure it out" or the same category as perpetual motion and "free energy".

So the difference would be that the laws of physics, as we understand them, would require that perpetual motion etc are impossible. Whereas the laws of physics, as we understand them, suggest there is no fundamental reason why a quantum computer can't exist. There simply appears to be many practical reasons why it would be very difficult to build one.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326166)

"There hasn't, isn't, and to my mind never will be a practical flying machine. Given the amount of time people have been failing at building one or even demonstrating that it should be possible, I'm not particularly uncertain about my opinion. Counterproof?"

-random dude in ancient Greece

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326180)

Concentrate a bit. [emergentchaos.com]

Lots of people have said pigs don't fly and they still don't fly. We have good reason to think pigs won't fly, and there is good evidence that quantum computing won't reach the stage where it will be able to fulfil suggested applications.

Do you have any evidence to the contrary, apart from smartass remarks at the level of rigour used to insist that proof of God's existence is only a matter of time?

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

Soft Cosmic Rusk (1211950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326404)

So, what do you propose? That we just stop all research on quantum computers just because it is "highly unlikely" (in your opinion) that they would ever work? That really would be a self-fulfilling prophecy...

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326426)

No. I think that, what with current security-obsessed Western governments, way too much money is being ploughed into fields which claim they might make or break security. Quantum computing and cryptography are two such fields.

I have no problem with people continuing to study the subjects. I do have a problem with wild claims about the destination. I don't like that academia has fashionable subjects while people ignore the incremental steps which actually build the world. It creates a horrible misallocation of resources and, when commercial enterprises finally exploit research, they ride the hype and exploit the dreamy shit.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

lostthoughts54 (1696358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326416)

Since in reality, we are still missing the key parts of the quantum world and how it operates, it seems very odd to me to assume we can have good evidence quantum computing wont reach the level we one day hope. I am not saying we will, but the possibility is there(and therefor the research into it should continue). We simply dont know enough to say one way or the other but the research may give us that answer.

And the flying machine comment seems rather appropriate. They didnt have the knowledge of aerodynamics to say it couldn't be done but they did.
One more thing, if u look at it in large enough timescales, it is possible to pigs to eventually fly, with evolution and all.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327674)

u look at it in large enough timescales, it is possible to pigs to eventually fly, with evolution and all.

Well, evolution and the horrible affront-to-God genetic experiments I'm doing in my basement. ;-P

Re:quantum bla bla bla (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329754)

I thought quantum computing would have to fulfill suggested applications before they were suggested.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35328920)

I shouldn't feed the troll...

You ask for Counter-proof? You offered nothing except your opinion. Ok, proper counter proof: Yes there will be. BAM!

Maybe you should start by telling us all why it is impossible and can never be done.

And I will cite the long list of impossible things we have already done. Quantum computing is so very new. Try explaining modern processors the the guys that threw a few vacuum tubes together and see how realistic they think your idea is. No, it's more like trying to explain the network of modern processors to people using arc lighting.

Re:quantum bla bla bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35336578)

"There hasn't, isn't, and to my mind never will be a practical quantum computer."

What the hell are you talking about? They're already using (and SELLING) quantum chips for tasks like image recognition. Given the recent advancements above and others that have happened recently, I'm actually impressed/worried at how fast we're progressing, without strong encryption etc. that can hold its own.

So, Like in Soviet Russia,... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326006)

...with quantum antennae, the signal finds you!

Sooo.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326086)

Do we know if Schrodinger killed his cat or not?

Re:Sooo.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326134)

That's the boring question. The interesting one is: does the cat know?

Re:Sooo.... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326996)

In a smooth and well calculated leap, the cat jumped upon the table and, after letting his body mold itself to the lumps in the most uncomfortable place, is looking at you with a bored expression in his half-closed eyes.

Re:Sooo.... (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326496)

It depends. Murphy's law would suggest that his cat would do the inverse of what he wanted it to do, and if he didn't really care then it would remain in an indeterminate state.

Some day... (1)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326706)

they'll figure that entanglement shit out (how does it work anyway? ha! you can't explain that.), and all physicists will be in a world of pain. A world of pain I tell ya.

Re:Some day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327956)

fucking quanta, how do they work?

Re:Some day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35328952)

Well duh, it's the highest resolution that the simulation can account for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis

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Easy breezy (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35329534)

"We implemented this new concept in a very simple way," explains Rainer Blatt. In a miniaturized ion trap a double-well potential was created, trapping the calcium ions. The two wells were separated by 54 micrometers. "By applying a voltage to the electrodes of the ion trap, we were able to match the oscillation frequencies of the ions," says Blatt.

- then the Austrian with a thick New Jersey accent added: we just used a small ruler with 2 micrometer dividers, badabim badaboom, you know what I am saying? A couple of tweezers to catch the calcium ions and a miniature excavator to dig the wells. It's easy, anybody and their mother can do it. In fact my mother did it the other way in the kitchen. It's still oscillating.

"This resulted in a coupling process and an energy exchange, which can be used to transmit quantum information." A direct coupling of two mechanical oscillations at the quantum level has never been demonstrated before. In addition, the scientists show that the coupling is amplified by using more ions in each well. "These additional ions function as antennas and increase the distance and speed of the transmission," says Rainer Blatt, who is excited about the new concept. This work constitutes a promising approach for building a fully functioning quantum computer.

- Then the madly excited Dr. Blatt aded: -If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit.

"The new technology offers the possibility to distribute entanglement. At the same time, we are able to target each memory cell individually," explains Rainer Blatt. The new quantum computer could be based on a chip with many micro traps, where ions communicate with each other through electromagnetic coupling. This new approach represents an important step towards practical quantum technologies for information processing.

The reporter taking the notes looked up from the notebook:
This is uh... This is heavy duty, Doc. This is great. Uh, does it run, like, on regular unleaded gasoline?

Dr. Blatt: Unfortunately no, it requires something with a little more kick - plutonium.

Reporter: Are you telling me that this sucker is nuclear?

Dr. Blatt: No, no, no, no, no. This sucker's electrical. But I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

Reporter: Doc, you don't just walk into a store and-and buy plutonium. Did you rip that off?

Dr. Blatt: Shhhhhh. Of course. From a group of Libyan nationalists. They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and in turn, gave them a shiny bomb-casing full of used pinball machine parts! Come on! Let's get you a radiation suit. We must prepare to reload.

TV news anchor: ...the Senate is expected to vote on this today. In other news, officials at the Pacific nuclear research facility have denied the rumor that a case of missing plutonium was, in fact, stolen from their vault two weeks ago. A Libyan terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the alleged theft. However, officials now attribute the discrepancy to a simple clerical error. The FBI, which is still investigating the matter, had no comment. Twelve wooden crates filled with cocaine washed ashore near Boca Raton, Florida, yesterday.

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