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New Quantum Record: 14 Entangled Bits

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the austrian-bits-are-more-highly-polished dept.

Technology 101

Tx-0 writes "Quantum physicists from the University of Innsbruck have set another world record: They have achieved controlled entanglement of 14 quantum bits (qubits) and, thus, realized the largest quantum register that has ever been produced. With this experiment the scientists have not only come closer to the realization of a quantum computer but they also show surprising results for the quantum mechanical phenomenon of entanglement. By now the Innsbruck experimental physicists have succeeded in confining up to 64 particles in an ion trap. 'We are not able to entangle this high number of ions yet,' says Thomas Monz. 'However, our current findings provide us with a better understanding about the behavior of many entangled particles.' And this knowledge may soon enable them to entangle even more atoms."

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who else misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700302)

qbits as qberts?

Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700358)

This accomplishment portends some very cool things that we will never see in our lifetimes.

Re:Very cool (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700416)

So support life extension. Why so many geeks are against life extension but for all kinds of projects that will take centuries to pan out is beyond me. Why explore space if you can't explore time?

Re:Very cool (2)

MrKane (804219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700992)

If you can travel close to the speed of light you can explore quite a bit of space, in a normal amount of time. You would also have travelled forward in time at a faster rate than your home world, and so would infact be exploring time, should you decide to return to your point of origin :)

Re:Very cool (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701062)

So how rich would you need to be in order to have a good chance of successfully doing that?

Seems like it would be more expensive and difficult to build a spacecraft with enough shielding, payload, the ability to go to near C for a number of years, turn around and return (at near C) intact, than it would be just to solve this pesky quantum computing problem :).

Re:Very cool (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701796)

You could skip the 'turn around and return' part. Head off as 99.99999C, very slowly circle around back to your point of origin. You'll be going too fast to stop, but hopefully in the intervening millenia someone will have worked out a way to decelerate you as a historical curiosity.

Re:Very cool (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702034)

hopefully in the intervening millenia someone will have worked out a way to decelerate you as a historical delicacy.

FTFY

Re:Very cool (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703580)

You wouldn't even need to go in a circle. Mankind will have populated the entire galaxy by the time you drop out of light speed.

By this same logic we can also know for certain that traveling backwards in time is impossible. If it were possible then the first time machine would have been 'invented' shortly after the big bang, ie. somebody would use their machine to travel back there so they could claim to be the inventor of time travel.

Re:Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35714044)

99.99999C

Holy fuck! We haven't even broken the light speed barrier and you are already making plans to go 100x as fast? Talk about unrealistic....

Re:Very cool (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705482)

Define 'quite a bit'. IMHO you could explore Sweet FA in one of your normal human lifespans. Thank Cthulhu that I'm not from around here.

Re:Very cool (2)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702004)

Because life is not an int that can just be increased? "Life Extension" is largely a sham promoted by con artists?

It's not like most geeks are against medicine, living well, reducing unnecessary risks, etc. But to say that you're researching "Life Extension" is like saying that you're researching "engineering bigger things" or "making fast stuff." Sure, someone doing research biology into the breakdown of DNA over time can be said to be doing "life extension." But anyone who says that they're doing life extension is probably an Israeli microcorp that releases 6 months of press releases, then disappears leaving nothing behind but bewildered investors and a badly dated looking website.

Re:Very cool (1)

williamfrench4 (1986570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35704612)

Is anyone actually against life extension, or do they just assume it's impractical?

Re:Very cool (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707824)

I'm against researching life extension in place of something more useful, like...almost anything else, since life extension really creates more problems than it solves (overpopulation and ethical issues vs. old people who are afraid to die (how pathetic is that)).

But apart from that, I don't care, knock yourself out.

Re:Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700542)

This accomplishment portends some very cool things that we will never see in our lifetimes.

I agree that it's impressive but I don't think that anything all that cool is going to come out of misreading qbits as qberts. Not in our lifetimes anyway.

Re:Very cool (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702918)

I might not see any practical results from this research but I am just glad there are people who work on projects such as this. That includes both the intelligent scientists, engineerss, and the people who fund this type of research knowing themselves that they may never see any results in their lifetime either but continue to support this type of research anyway.

Re:who else misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700878)

@!#?@!

Don't read this! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700312)

Quantum first post!

First command! (3, Funny)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702076)

The first command they'll run on the quantum computer:

cat schroedinger.txt | tee alive.txt dead.txt

Stuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700328)

If I wasn't entangled, I could have had a first post.

Re:Stuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700644)

you both did and didn't get first post

Nullo bits? (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700338)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

Re:Nullo bits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700392)

Gtfo and go to myspace.

Re:Nullo bits? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35704898)

god, i read every word of that.

fuck you.

Re:Nullo bits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35705358)

Not much of a contribution to quantum entanglement, but a good one in the elaborate Slashdot trolling tradition.

Re:Nullo bits? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35706022)

I've not idea why this was marked down -1 informative. There is too much information

"Superdecoherence" (5, Interesting)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700364)

From TFA:

In addition, the physicists of the University of Innsbruck have found out that the decay rate of the atoms is not linear, as usually expected, but is proportional to the square of the number of the qubits. When several particles are entangled, the sensitivity of the system increases significantly.

This is somewhat troubling, isn't it? If the decay rate is quadratic in the number of qubits, and this turns out to be due to some fundamental physical law as opposed to limitations of the current technology, does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

Re:"Superdecoherence" (5, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700402)

does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

16k ought to be enough for ANYbody.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705484)

does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

16k ought to be enough for ANYbody.

Just how do you propose to know how much memory anyway?

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35722960)

That's what arrays are for, no?

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700422)

Since for some algorithms the computational power is exponential in the amount of quantum memory, you can do "significant" stuff without a lot of memory.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700766)

Since for some algorithms the computational power is exponential in the amount of quantum memory, you can do "significant" stuff without a lot of memory.

Compared to the gigabytes of memory on your average computer, sure. 1 kilobyte = 8192 bits would be huge. But 14 bits? At most 2^14 = 16384 "classic" operations at once. I've never heard how many IOPS you'll get from a quantum computer but my impression is that you need many more qubits to beat a supercomputer.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701590)

Yes, 14 bits isn't enough, but the question wasn't about 14 bits specifically, but about whether the qubit limit imposed by the quadratic decay rate will be a problem.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700824)

Since for some algorithms the computational power is exponential in the amount of quantum memory, you can do "significant" stuff without a lot of memory.

That may be so, but I have a feeling that they'll still need to be able to implement at least three registers to accomplish anything, and they haven't quite made it up to being able to implement a single short int. The idea of quantum computing has a lot of potential, but so does holographic memory, and they've been promising results there since the 1960's. When you're fighting entropy on as many fronts as they are, there's good reason to be pessimistic.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700446)

I haven't really kept up to date with quantum computation in the past 5 years or so, but back then it seemed like focus in research was placed primarily in quantum error correction [wikimedia.org] , the idea being that we should just give up on being able to maintain coherence absolutely and try to modify algorithms that take decoherence as a matter of course. I don't know the state of the art in quantum error correction, though, and whether gains there would be enough to balance out the quadratic rate of decoherence.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700602)

> does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

If it were a legitimate concern, we'd have lots of quantum processing units. A whole lot of them.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (5, Informative)

greeneggs2000 (739337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700648)

From TFA:

In addition, the physicists of the University of Innsbruck have found out that the decay rate of the atoms is not linear, as usually expected, but is proportional to the square of the number of the qubits. When several particles are entangled, the sensitivity of the system increases significantly.

This is somewhat troubling, isn't it? If the decay rate is quadratic in the number of qubits, and this turns out to be due to some fundamental physical law as opposed to limitations of the current technology, does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

Not really. The researchers trapped and entangled 14 ions in a single ion trap. Quantum computers based on ion traps will have thousands of traps, with never more than one or two ions per trap. (Machines with hundreds of traps have been tested, ions moved between traps, etc.; see, e.g., [1]) It has been known since at least 1997 [2] that you can't have a scalable system with only a single ion trap (that would be true even were the decay rate quadratic in the number of ions per trap).

[1] Home, J. P. et al. Complete methods set for scalable ion trap quantum information
processing. Science 325, 1227–1230 (2009). arXiv:0907.1865 [quant-ph] [arxiv.org]
[2] Wineland, D.J. et al. Experimental issues in coherent quantum state manipulation
of trapped atomic ions. J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. 103, 259–328 (1998). arXiv:quant-ph/9710025 [arxiv.org]

By the way, an arXiv link for this article is arXiv:1009.6126 [quant-ph] [arxiv.org] .

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

frnic (98517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701386)

"Quantum computers based on ion traps will have thousands of traps"

Let me be the first to say, "Who could ever need more than thousands of ion traps..."

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

InfoJunkie777 (1435969) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702146)

You should get upgraded to at least TWO for FUNNY!

Re:"Superdecoherence" (2)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702756)

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that computing power depends on the number of entangled bits. The promise of quantum computers is that they can solve in O(N) time certain problems that a conventional computer would need O(exp(N)) time to solve - but only if all N bits are entangled. If you're limited to 16 entangled bits, you can't solve problems any larger than N=16 without losing the linear scaling.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700662)

does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

My bigger concern is how they are going to untangle that mess when they start pushing some real numbers. I mean, hell, if they've only got 14 now, and they can't straighten them out, imagine the trouble with, say, 1000 of them.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701026)

Calling qubits 'memory' is a little misleading. The number of qubits that can be entangled at once is more analogous to the number of bits per register/operation in a classical computer. You could have 100 registers of 14 qubits and each register would individually have the same decay rate proportional to 14^2. That's not to say that this isn't a big hurdle, but it's not as big of a hurdle as you're making it out to be.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702270)

Calling qubits 'memory' is a little misleading. The number of qubits that can be entangled at once is more analogous to the number of bits per register/operation in a classical computer. You could have 100 registers of 14 qubits and each register would individually have the same decay rate proportional to 14^2. That's not to say that this isn't a big hurdle, but it's not as big of a hurdle as you're making it out to be.

Are you sure? If those 100 registers aren't entangled with each other, how could you combine them in any useful way? Wouldn't it be just same as having 1 register, and using it 100 times in a row, so not really any help in solving a problem, which is too large to be solved with a single register?

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703176)

You couldn't combine them in a quantum computation. But what I'm saying is that it's not _necessary_ to have 'gigabytes of entangled qubits' like we need gigabytes of ram because they're fundamentally different things that happen to be measured with the same units. Memory is storage. A 14-qubit computer is referring to the computation width.

The reason I talked about having multiple registers is because in the long term, we may end up developing quantum computers with multiple quantum registers (just like old old computers had a small number of registers and now have dozens, plus cache and memory). But that was something of a red herring as it detracted from the point I was trying to make.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701086)

This is somewhat troubling, isn't it? If the decay rate is quadratic in the number of qubits, and this turns out to be due to some fundamental physical law as opposed to limitations of the current technology, does that mean we can never have quantum computers with any significant amount of memory?

Depends how much of their time you can reserve.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701756)

Well, doesn't reading the answer break the entanglement anyway? As far as I can tell, the full process of a quantum computation is to tangle up a fresh batch, do the computation (essentially trying every possible answer in the same instant), read it (collapses the state of the particles into the correct answer). So they only need to stay entangled for a very brief time. And the idea is to eventually get enough quantum bits together to do a Metric Crapload of computation all at once. In an analogy that is probably too oversimplified: One thread on a 2ghz system can theoretically do 2 billion operations per second; but if you can do the setup-compute-teardown of some quantum bits in one second, and you've got, say, 40 quantum bits, you can do a trillion operations per second.

I don't think there are any problems a 14 qbit computer could solve that a standard computer couldn't do in well under a second anyway. But even then, there may be some kind of case where you have a few million such problems you need to do, and a singly insignificant speed advantage dominates in bulk. For example, perhaps some obnoxiously compute intensive particle simulations can be decomposed into still-huge number of 14-bit NP problems, and by doing so you replace a warehouse sized cluster with one fridge-sized unit. Though again, the potential for this goes up drastically with the number of quantum bits.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703342)

Feasibly 16 is quite a few, plenty to design with. For example, you could have 16 per group of entangled bits, and if thats the most you can ever get, you can bind them together as individual connection points to cut down on buses transmission times and any other lengthy connections, assuming you could replenish them as their state decays - which is a much bigger issue than the quantity itself. In terms of new information about the decay of entangled states, this is pretty cool though.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703960)

it depends if you can control the decay rater otherwise... physics is just a theory, until it's not then some apparent physical law doesn't mean much by the way of limitations.

Re:"Superdecoherence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35704710)

why would you want a quantum computer anyway when you can have an artificial brain utilizing pattern recognition?

14 quantum bits (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700370)

Hell yeah! In a few years, I will be able to play Super Mario on a quantum computer!

Re:14 quantum bits (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700626)

Hell yeah! In a few years, I will be able to play Super Mario on a quantum computer!

Yes, but then you'll have to deal with Bowser's Peach Paradox -- The game will start with the Princess being both captured and not captured, and you'll only find out which if you complete the game and observe the ending.

"I'm sorry Mario, but our Princess exists in a super position of both being in another castle, and awaiting your return safely at home."

Only after you observe the game's ending will you discover the game's plot:
You either attempted to save the Princess from the evil clutches of King Kupa,
or it's another case of Mario going mad and destroying an innocent kingdom for no good reason.

Of course the credits will either reveal that the game's events haven't taken place yet (it was all a dream (ala Mario 2), ), or that the story has all happened before, an infinite number of times, and the princes might have just been captured again!

Talk about replayability...
Insert Qubits to Contiue.

Re:14 quantum bits (2)

infurnus (1897136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700674)

Only after you observe the game's ending will you discover the game's plot:
You either attempted to save the Princess from the evil clutches of King Kupa,
or it's another case of Mario going mad and destroying an innocent kingdom for no good reason.

So basically, the plot to Braid?

Re:14 quantum bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702454)

Exactly what I was thinking of reading the GP.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703610)

The plot to Braid, multiplied by Braid, with a little Braid thrown in.

I
CAN'T
WAIT!

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705464)

Hell yeah! In a few years, I will be able to play Super Mario on a quantum computer!

Yes, but then you'll have to deal with Bowser's Peach Paradox -- The game will start with the Princess being both captured and not captured, and you'll only find out which if you complete the game and observe the ending.

Downside: Quantum superposition allows every event in the game to occur simultaneously and in parallel to the others, so the game is -quite literally- over before you know it.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700782)

It won't run any faster, though. The distances in a typical computer chip are so tiny and there are enough choke-points in a typical computer that it really won't run any faster. I think that's what people are forgetting - that this isn't about speed or faster computers but about long-distance communication.

Now, being able to communicate with a person, say, on the moon, in real-time would be useful. Or a computer network between planets. Also, transmission from anyplace on the planet. Though that could easily be a problem - imagine trying to track down a suspect who is using a quantum based communicator.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701216)

Quantum entaglement can not be used for faster-than-light transmission of information.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703518)

If one pair or group was physically moved to the moon (in theory), it would effectively become FTL communication though no actual data is being transmitted anyplace. The potential advantage of quantum entanglement is that you do an end-run around the entire problem of distance. You could have a device in theory 20 LY away and get data from it instantly. Of course, there's the issue of bandwidth and all, as well as numerous technical issues concerning longevity and repeatability.

My best guess for a potential use would be to send a large amount of data in a one-shot transmission as a notification or in an emergency. Kind of like those things hikers use so that people can find them when they are lost - just far better - press the panic button and it spits out your coordinates to the other device it's matched to. Even if you can't get a phone or GPS signal at your location. (ie - say, you're in a cave 200 ft below ground).

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Captain Segfault (686912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703698)

No.

You can't use separated entangled qubits to send information faster than light. It doesn't work that way. There are a bunch of tricks and operations you can do, but none of them result in the other end being able to distinguish a change of state.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35704980)

Well, we'll see. Some physicists think that we will be able to distinguish a change of state eventually (though this may be a LONG time in the future) and use it to do exactly this. Some do not. I think that we will overcome this "limitation" some day and be able to use it like this, since observing changes is really a technological problem on our end(kind of like how people said we couldn't ever fly to the moon. We can, but it takes amounts of energy and technology that 100 years ago, even, they would have considered absurd.

Shoot, 50 years ago, we couldn't see atoms. Or planets around other stars. If it's just a problem of observing the changed states, it's going to be possible. Some day.

Re:14 quantum bits (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35706106)

Some physicists think that we will be able to distinguish a change of state eventually [...]. Some do not.

Meanwhile, there is a group of physicist are in a superposition of the state thinking that FTL is and is not possible [newswise.com] ... they pertain to the class of String Theorists.

Paradoxically, the nature of their thinking state is totally opposite to quantum mechanics: any attempt to get an answer from their part will NOT result in a collapsing of their thinking state into one of the defined choices, but rather in setting the mind of the asking person into an indeterminate and fuzzy state (i.e. the "decoherence of the observer" effect).

Furthermore, in deep contrast with the normal quantum entanglement (on which the super-decoherence was observed), the above mentioned sub-system of String Theorist are believed as becoming more stable as the number of scientists in the group increases - in other words, a successful conversion of a new scientist to the group (will require an O(0) effort - i.e. constant, even if non-negligible) is most likely to result in a supra-linear increase in the stability of the so called "group coherence" and their capacity to influence the outside world.

Notes of caution for the young and adventurous - a short term exposure of an external observer may result in an assessment of the "thinking state" as being "incoherent", even if a longer period of observation will most likely note that the discourse and argumentation show patterns that are stable and that strongly resembles rationality and method. The external observer is warmly advised to refrain from searching for the "method behind the madness" under the risk of a fate worst than "living in the basement of their Mum" - see the reference to the "observer decoherence" effect above.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708456)

Heh. Then again, quantum physics may be a fancy kludge for something else. Similar to medieval astronomy and their horrendously complex calculations to make everything "fit". We just don't know yet. So far, attempts to unify all of the theories together have completely failed. Something is plainly wrong and needs to be thrown out or re-done (maybe all of it even).

I think that there is a way to "observe" such a change in state without actually observing it. We would need to be able to master gravity along the same lines as how we have essentially mastered electricity, though. That way we could passively look at how it's affecting the fabric of space around it and figure out the alignment of the atoms without actually influencing them in any way. I suspect that we may need hundreds or thousands of years more before we gain such technology, though.

Maybe some bright person will come up with a fancy kludge. I think we'll eventually do it. But not in our lifetimes, that's almost certain.

Re:14 quantum bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701232)

You mean the idea that entanglement allows instantaneous communication over long distances, i.e. faster-than-light? I believe that is a sci-fi concept only, I have not heard anyone studying quantum computing claim you can communicate information via entanglement decoherence.

As I understand it: entanglement does enable spooky-action-at-a-distance i.e. decoherence happens simultaneously. But what each party observes is an apparently random result so information is not transmitted. So Einstein's speed-of-light limit remains inviolate (unfortunately) although for reasons that he had not anticipated.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705144)

i take it recoupling the qubits once the parts are removed from each other is not possible?

if it were, you could use time-domain encoding - it doesn't matter that the information is random as such, just that something happens.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708038)

It won't run any faster, though. The distances in a typical computer chip are so tiny and there are enough choke-points in a typical computer that it really won't run any faster. I think that's what people are forgetting - that this isn't about speed or faster computers but about long-distance communication.

Two words: Shor's algorithm [wikipedia.org]

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708684)

Yes, I know about that. The issue is that while the processor might be faster, nothing attached to it is, so it effectively is spinning its wheels waiting for the rest of the system. You'd need a whole new motherboard design, new peripherals, new memory, and so on that could keep up. One weak link in the chain and the speed gains largely evaporate.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718312)

If you run Shor's algorithm on a quantum computer it will take polynomial time as opposed to exponential time on a classical computer for integer factorization. So yes, it is about speed and faster computers.

Re:14 quantum bits (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719906)

Technically, yes, but it's like having a 1000 hp car on L.A. freeways. In the end, nothing really goes a whole lot faster unless you were to redesign everything from the ground up to be able to operate at those speeds.

native americans presidential bid; no fake weather (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700428)

they say that always happens just before another outbreak of genocidal holycosting. the royals, holycosters etc.. are investigating whether the native americans are indeed even american citizens or ineligible to hold office due to their history of being exterminated from time to time.

the natives, wanting to survive, again, lament that if one has never been massacred/eugen0sized, listening to ones who have might help. they're expecting continued resistance to their peaceful, run for the roses, from the indigent invading crusaders, particularly the real sex religion 'trainers' from rome. vatanical self worshiping addicts to their own abusive 'heriticage'. polls are useless now.

Re:native americans presidential bid; no fake weat (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705162)

less coherent than timecube.

already good enough for abridged classic sci-fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700482)

"Sixteen Thousand Three Hundred Eight Four Leagues Under the Sea"

Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700558)

64 entangled particles ought to be enough for anybody

Exciting news! (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700584)

At the rate advances in quantum computing are coming, with more and more bits available to be used, I should be able to see quantum computers as powerful as ENIAC before I die! Alas, baring major medical advances, I'm unlikely to see anything as powerful as a quantum TI-99/4A...

But you can buy them at Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35700608)

I don't understand why these scientists are going to such trouble to invent quantum computers with qubits. You can buy qubits at Amazon. Just try googling the term "qubits [google.com] ":

QUBITS at Amazon.com - Buy QUBITS at Amazon
Qualified orders over $25 ship free

big deal (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700760)

I can get more things entangled by just leaving a couple extension cords unattended for a few days.

Re:big deal (2)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701742)

My wire-clothes-hanger closet computer is orders of magnitude more powerful than yours. I just need seed funding to commercialize it.

"Closer" (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35700784)

Unless they have some theoretical method of scaling up their design, this does not really bring us "closer" to useful quantum computing. In fact, TFA casts some doubt on scalability:

In addition, the physicists of the University of Innsbruck have found out that the decay rate of the atoms is not linear, as usually expected, but is proportional to the square of the number of the qubits.

Re:"Closer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35701088)

Addressed in another comment [slashdot.org] posted before this one.

Yeah yeah, right... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701276)

...cut the chit-chat...does Linux run on it yet? scnr

Re:Yeah yeah, right... (4, Funny)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702854)

...cut the chit-chat...does Linux run on it yet?

Yes and no.

Re:Yeah yeah, right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703474)

Lame

Expect 20 in 20 yrs, 25 in 100 yrs, 30 in 1000 yrs (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701502)

Seriously, the speed the number of entangled quantums is rising with, clearly points to exponential increase in complexity. This means we will likely never see quantum computers that can be used for any real problem size. Not that this has been clear for about a decade or so.

Re:Expect 20 in 20 yrs, 25 in 100 yrs, 30 in 1000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35705292)

The QC quacks needs to shit or get off the pot.

Unless they can release a general purpose quantum computing chip, I will always maintain that QC is a pipe dream with exponential energy requirements. And as for the thread that mentions quadratic decoherence, I'm starting to suspect that it's actually EXP(n^2).

Re:Expect 20 in 20 yrs, 25 in 100 yrs, 30 in 1000 (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705908)

The trouble is that no truly scalable proposal for QC has been developed yet. The hope would be that once a suitable system was found, it wouldn't be exponentially more difficult to add qbits. Photonic qbits have very different problems from trapped ions, for example. Not many research groups are attempting to build large systems because the potential for more extensive scaling isn't there, instead they're trying to develop systems that are scalable, then we'll see a push for large systems.

It'll probably still be decades before all the hard problems are solved, but the promise of an exponentially larger computation basis for a given number of bits is too compelling to ignore.

Re:Expect 20 in 20 yrs, 25 in 100 yrs, 30 in 1000 (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35706330)

I think what is difficult to ignore is the grant money you can still get for GC proposals. If the device gets exponentially more difficult to build when larger, exponentially more computing power does not mean anything. And there is rather strong indication that entangeling manipulating qbits at the same time gets exponentially harder with the number of qbits. I predict that Quantum Computers will not ever reach significant size, as conventional computers will not only simpler to build, but they do scale well for the problems Quantum Computers can solve. And there are not that many of these problems anyways. Most problems do not scale well, regardless of computing mechanism.

14 bits?? (0)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701924)

I don't forsee anyone needing more than 14 bits.

One more thing I won't be getting... (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35701974)

Sigh...no hoverboards, flying cars, mr fusion or quantum computers :(

It figures..that there would be no free lunch...all of the initial rants about instantly factoring huge numbers, solving impossibly complex problems have unsurprisingly turned out to be false.

If you can't scale the number of qbits in a single coherent system QCs are doomed.. All of this talk of linking separatly entangled systems to produce more powerful QCs is crap. If you don't get anywhere near expontential scaling as a function of qbits then game over.

Re:One more thing I won't be getting... (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702028)

All of this talk of linking separatly entangled systems to produce more powerful QCs is crap. If you don't get anywhere near expontential scaling as a function of qbits then game over.

Why?

Serious question. I honestly don't know much about q-computing, but batteries of small systems to make a single large system sounds pretty par for the course, technologically. Doesn't sound like there's any fundamental problem with that.

Re:One more thing I won't be getting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702500)

Why?

Serious question. I honestly don't know much about q-computing, but batteries of small systems to make a single large system sounds pretty par for the course, technologically. Doesn't sound like there's any fundamental problem with that.

There is nothing wrong with QC.. I have no doubt it will be useful in the real world at some point in the future.

The problem for me is that while yes you can always throw more CPUs at a problem there are whole classes of problems where this is infeasable. This was the whole point of QCs... To solve problems that were **impossible** to solve with "classic" computers.

  A massive supercomputer may be a several million times more powerful than my desktop and that makes it more capable and very useful...yes..but even millions of such computers could not come close to breaking a single private key before our sun runs out of fuel and becomes a white dwarf.

You can't solve problems requiring every atom on earth or for that matter a thousand universes to be a transister in a massive supercomputer to solve. Without n^qbit scaling the origional promise of addressing impossible dreams behind QCs will never really be realized.

Re:One more thing I won't be getting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35704584)

There WOULD be all those things if:

#1 Society would get its act together.

#2 Scientists (*cough* physicists) would stop being so dang dogmatic.

Both of these issues are social issues rather than technical issues.

Re:One more thing I won't be getting... (1)

Wandering Idiot (563842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705440)

#2 Scientists (*cough* physicists) would stop being so dang dogmatic.

The first part was so vague and general as to be useless, but for this part I'll bite: Go ahead, tell us about your perpetual motion machine/reformulation of General Relativity/antigravity machine/theory of everthing that the mean old dogmatic scientists refuse to believe. You are of course the first person in history to come up with such a thing and assume no one takes you seriously only because of small-mindedness rather than the inherent flaws and mistaken assumptions of your model. Or it may be a more general objection, and you're just mad at them for not believing in ESP and ghosts.

about freaking time (1)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703002)

In addition, the physicists of the University of Innsbruck have found out that the decay rate of the atoms is not linear, as usually expected, but is proportional to the square of the number of the qubits. When several particles are entangled, the sensitivity of the system increases significantly.

I've long said that I wouldn't take quantum computing seriously until I saw an equation depicting a scaling bound. That day finally dawns a decade into the hype cycle. Amazing. Seriously, following the field is like studying optics without knowing the difference between lumens and lux. What kind of physical system has no bounding process?

This is the first such equation I've seen, but they don't indicate the base decay rate, or how many qubits it would take before the decay rate is unmanageable.

Furthermore, they don't indicate the stacking rate: how long it takes to entangle qubits as a function of N. There's got to be some value where the stacking rate and the decay rate interest. I'd like to know what that value is, with present approaches, and viable future approaches.

Now if only the media could keep becquerels, sieverts and coulombs per kilogram straight. The book could be titled "Lumens and lux for people who don't wish to remain dummies" and any colour other than yellow and black.

Re:about freaking time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35705206)

Okay, you know a lot of buzz words. We get it.

New world record? (1)

stor (146442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703356)

No fair! They changed the outcome by measuring it!

-Stor

Quantum storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703866)

There's a lot of stuff about quantum computers and storage, but dont' they need to make inverters and nand gates, etc, to really make it useful?

Also in this example the qubits were manipulated with laser light rather than electronic means. Should I only be excited once we see the quantum equivalent of a 74ls74 that works without needing any lasers?

Z-80 (1)

haapi (16700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35704946)

They couldn't have entangled a Z-80's worth of bits and called it good. Sigh.

Re:Z-80 (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35706142)

They couldn't have entangled a Z-80's worth of bits and called it good. Sigh.

Huh? Z80 [wikipedia.org] was an 8-bit processor. Granted, it had more registries than this one (if I remember well, it actually had a pair of registry sets).

Imagine someday buying disks in pairs.... (1)

Desmoden (221564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35705642)

Where every bit on one drive is entangled with the other.

Move drive A any distance from drive B, data remains in sync. ....errr...or you buy one drive and the Gov has the other...hmmm....

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35705832)

That's nothing. One more qubit and you'll have a Great Flood. Genesis 7:20.

Maybe they have and maybe they haven't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35705890)

Maybe they are just describing an otherwise simple thing in a way which makes it seem entangled.

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