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Qubits Stored at Room Temp For Two Seconds

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the get-em-while-they're-warm dept.

Hardware 88

nmpost writes with news of another step toward practical quantum computers. From the article: "Scientists have successfully overcome one of the obstacles in quantum computation by storing data on quantum bits (qubits) for about two seconds at room temperature. Many of the current systems utilize extremely complex and costly equipments to trap an individual electron or atom in a vacuum at absolute zero temperature. However, a team of researchers from Harvard University have solved the problem of working at normal temperature by using diamonds, which are atomically pure materials on Earth."

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gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542039)

Gay. Science is gay.

Re:gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542133)

My anal canal is ready for mining my feces, please come in, there's plenty of work available for you, the endeavor is majestic!

So say we all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542043)

first

Re:So say we all (2, Funny)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542087)

First fail, to be more exact.

Re:So say we all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542207)

second

Re:So say we all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542353)

First fail, to be more exact.

speaking of failures we can be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN about one thing: the scientists doing this may be white, they may be asian. they are definitely not black. blacks contribute next to nothing. compared to what they consume in law enforcement (most black males incarcerated at least once by age 30, black males 6% of population and commit 50% of murders etc), welfare (da projeckts yo!) and all the expenses from affirmative action and political correctness, they are a NET DRAIN on society.

takes a lot + contributes nearly nothing = net drain. they already got their slavery reparations.

Re:So say we all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544345)

Speaking of failures of public schools, the above poster is a prime example.

Breakfast Qubits Cereal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542059)

I usually eat Qubits as part of a nutritious breakfast.

Re:Breakfast Qubits Cereal (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542151)

Thought they were those annoying pop-up ads some people see

Re:Breakfast Qubits Cereal (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543893)

So you are eating Schrödinger's breakfast?

Re:Breakfast Qubits Cereal (1)

drkim (1559875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544099)

No...

That stuff will kill you half the time.

I achieved the same thing with Yodels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542121)

I really love those things.

Anyone know how to make them last longer?

Re:I achieved the same thing with Yodels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542157)

Don't squeeze your pelvic muscles so hard while they're inside and I'm sure they'll last longer !

Absolute zero (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542139)

Many of the current systems utilize extremely complex and costly equipments to trap an individual electron or atom in a vacuum at absolute zero temperature

No they don't. Really. They don't. Trust me on this.

Re:Absolute zero (4, Informative)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542177)

That's because "Technorati" horribly mangled what the original Harvard Gazette article said which was:

Most current systems, by comparison, rely on complex and expensive equipment designed to trap a single atom or electron in a vacuum and then cool the entire system to close to absolute zero.

Re:Absolute zero (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543487)

That's because "Technorati" horribly mangled what the original Harvard Gazette article said which was:

Most current systems, by comparison, rely on complex and expensive equipment designed to trap a single atom or electron in a vacuum and then cool the entire system to close to absolute zero.

"Atomically pure" diamonds are of course, cheap and more readily available than synthetically grown silicon...

Re:Absolute zero (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543921)

I'm sure you can use industrial diamonds for this.

Re:Absolute zero (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544549)

Or artificial diamonds, but they're still more expensive than real diamonds, last I heard, but I don't know how much of that is due to PR by the diamond industry.

Re:Absolute zero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40545323)

There are two ways of making artificial diamonds.

High pressure and temperature [wikipedia.org] using a very large press. This is the method that is probably more expensive. Here the carbon is squeezed into the crystal structure.

Chemical vapor deposition. [bbc.co.uk] This is really easy and cheap to do. All the Mach5 razors are coated in a thin layer of diamond. Here the crystal structure is grown. All it requires is the correct ratios of gases [louisville.edu] .

Re:Absolute zero (2)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551389)

All the Mach5 razors are coated in a thin layer of diamond.

As it's over a base layer of unobtanium, that might explain why replacement blades are so fucking expensive.

Re:Absolute zero (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542347)

My mate Kelvin would argue with you on that one.

Re:Absolute zero (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543167)

Then he's a hell of a lot stupider than his namesake.

Re:Absolute zero (1)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543259)

Indeed I would.

Obligatory Bill Cosby (2)

Palmateer (1533975) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542153)

What's a cubit?

Re:Obligatory Bill Cosby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542373)

1/8 of a Q*bert

Re:Obligatory Bill Cosby (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543533)

The length of an ancient Egyptian man's forearm.

atomically pure materials on Earth. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542161)

as opposed to neptune where they're considered quite slutty?

'Atomically pure material' (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542165)

Who gives a shit? There are lots of atomically pure materials.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (4, Informative)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542201)

Whoever wrote the Technorati article that the submitter quoted (most likely the same person) seems to be unable to form basic English sentences. The original article just states:

A group of Harvard scientists, led by Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and including graduate students Georg Kucsko and Peter Maurer and postdoctoral researcher Christian Latta, say they’ve cracked the problem, and they did it by turning to one of the purest materials on Earth: diamonds.

Apparently the person writing the Technorati article was trying to insert words in to make himself sound smarter and failing at it.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542235)

was trying to insert words in to make himself sound smarter and failing at it.

Fail

Re:'Atomically pure material' (3, Informative)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542255)

Actually diamonds are probably one of the less pure materials, because there is no way to refine them like you can with elements that can be zone refined such as silicon. Buckyballs can be refined by fractional crystalization... etc etc.

Impurities are locked into diamonds.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (2)

DanZ23 (901353) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542415)

Lab made diamonds are pretty damn pure.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543181)

I believe you on that but you would be surprised at how many nines they get out of some important industrial materials.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542821)

Impurities are locked into diamonds.

Diamonds can be manufactured pure.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (3, Informative)

gregski (765387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544777)

from the harvard gazette article:

"In initial experiments, the team used diamonds that contained 99 percent carbon-12 atoms"

"Working with researchers at Element Six, a British-based company that specializes in manufacturing artificial diamonds, they developed a new technique to create crystals that were even more pure: 99.99 percent carbon-12."

Re:'Atomically pure material' (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550781)

Only 99.99% pure? If they think that's pure they should talk with the semicon guys. 99.999999% pure (before doping) is common in electronics.

Re:'Atomically pure material' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544421)

This reminds me of this comic:

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

Re:'Atomically pure material' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542217)

Oh yeah? Well diamonds are best friends with girls, so *NYAAAAAA*!! :P

That was quick... (4, Funny)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542269)

Two seconds? Sheesh, I can usually at least make it home before my new computer is obsolete.

Re:That was quick... (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543581)

Two seconds? Sheesh, I can usually at least make it home before my new computer is obsolete.

Really? [ebaumsworld.com]

Apologies... (2, Insightful)

Qubit (100461) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542291)

...I have ADD and can only retain information for... ..wait, what were we talking about? It's Independence Day today, right? Let's go set off some fireworks!

Diamonds on Earth? (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542297)

I've heard of diamonds before, but I was never aware that they were found on Earth!

Re:Diamonds on Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542377)

No, no. You read that wrong. They're only atomically pure on Earth. If you take them off Earth, some of the carbon transmutes into other elements.

Re:Diamonds on Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543143)

Actually - as every mineralogist will tell you - diamonds _found_ (as opposed to synthesized) on earth are anything but pure.

Re:Diamonds on Earth? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543283)

Not just any random element. They'll turn into elements that are not atomic.

Is that supposed to bring the costs down? (1)

2fuf (993808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542307)

Using diamonds instead of costly equipment?

Re:Is that supposed to bring the costs down? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542419)

Using diamonds instead of costly equipment?

Yeah a lot of people are ignorant about this and that suits the DeBeers family just fine.

Diamond is not really so rare. It's just that the DeBeers family has a 80%+ monopoly on the world's diamond mines. They artificially restrict the supply to raise the costs and the perceived value. Of course the diamond cutters have a specialized skill and want their profits as well.

They do sell diamonds that are not considered gem-quality at realistic prices though. They are sometimes called industrial diamonds. Diamond saw blades for certain masonry work and diamond knife sharpeners (mine cost me $10-15) are made of these and are inexpensive. That is probably what this team uses. I really doubt they are using cut gemstone diamonds for this.

Re:Is that supposed to bring the costs down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543085)

The Article says they use special manufactured diamonds that are made up of Carbon-12 (which they want because it has no "spin") and Carbon-13 (which they are working to limit because it has spin). The breakthrough was decreasing the amount of Carbon-13 in the diamond by firing nitrogen at it, to give the Carbon-13 to react with while they were forming the diamond.

Re:Is that supposed to bring the costs down? (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543385)

They used lab manufactured diamonds as to control the purity.

Re:Is that supposed to bring the costs down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40546875)

They used lab manufactured diamonds as to control the purity.

Why do people feel the need to contradict claims that were never made?

I.e. i never said they didn't manufacture them. I simply said diamonds are not really so expensive as the grandparent poster thought.

Re:Is that supposed to bring the costs down? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543515)

I doubt gem quality natural diamonds are even close to the purity they require for this. Industrial diamonds even less so.

"costly equipments" (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542311)

Must be costly indeed when using diamonds is the cheaper alternative. :)

Re:"costly equipments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542369)

Industrial diamonds are cheap.
It's only the mystical power of marketing that makes the ones dug out of the ground worth anything.

Re:"costly equipments" (2)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542525)

From TFA:

Using a pair of impurities in ultra-pure, laboratory-grown diamonds, the researchers were able to create quantum bits and store information in them for nearly two seconds (...)

I doubt those are cheap. Especially compared to current silicon chips. Especially on a per-bit basis.

Anyhow, this whole discussion is kinda moot. It's just a "proof of concept" - another small step forward on the long road towards practical quantum computers.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542999)

do a little research, lab grown pure carbon diamonds approach the cost of a gemstone at sizes over half a carat, cheaper for a smaller one. but that means on the order of some few thousands of dollars, not whatever you are imagining.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40545427)

do a little research? You mean, like reading TFA?

Working with researchers at Element Six, a British-based company that specializes in manufacturing artificial diamonds, they developed a new technique to create crystals that were even more pure: 99.99 percent carbon-12. Researchers then bombard the crystal with nitrogen to create the NV center, which interacts with a nearby carbon-13 atom.

These aren't your ordinary lab-grown diamonds. Natural carbon contains 1% carbon-13 [wikipedia.org] . As isotopes can't be separated by chemical methods, it takes a lot of effort/money to get that down to 0.01%. The physics of isotope separation is also the reason why Iran still doesn't have enough isotropically pure uranium to build 1 atom bomb, despite decades of effort and a nation-state budget. Granted, separating carbon isotopes is substantially easier than uranium isotopes, and much less carbon is needed to build a small diamond than uranium is needed to build an atom bomb, but I can assure you these isotopically-purified-then-bombarded-with-nitrogen diamonds are everything but cheap. And I'd be surprised if there would be a practical method to store nearly as many bits in them as in an over-the counter DDR3 chip.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40559663)

in small quantities, the C-13 is $200 / gram. less of course in bulk. the major market right now is pharmy. c12 is waste product of that process, it's cheap.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40584327)

Yes, but just as the C-13 you're talking about is not absolutely pure, I strongly doubt that the waste C12 is 99.99% pure. That's a degree of purity that takes some doing to achieve even when chemical separation methods are available. I'm not saying it's fiendishly difficult, but it will come at a cost. And that's before converting it into diamond and bombarding it with nitrogen.

And again, I've always been talking on a per-bit basis. The number of bits that can be stored in one of these diamonds per unit of mass or volume using current methods has to be orders of magnitude lower than current DDR3 memory, so the diamond would have to be pretty darn cheap to compete with silicon using this (admittedly not entirely fair) criterion.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542941)

To be fair, its the same mystical marketing that causes gold to have value, or any other precious gem or metal used in jewelry. Diamonds are some what unique in that their is one company that has cornered the world market.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543541)

Gold has value because of its many industrial uses and for decoration. There are no artificial restrictions on supply. It's just not common and therefore expensive to mine. But investors using it as a hedge have driven up the price.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544489)

And all those same things can be said about diamonds except exchange "investors" with "DeBeers".

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40546655)

And that's exactly my point. People think that gold has some crazy inherent value that no other substance in the world has which makes it the most perfect medium for exchange. It doesn't.

Re:"costly equipments" (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551599)

Gold has value because of its many industrial uses

But mainly because it's goldy and shiny.

Re:"costly equipments" (0)

andsens (1658865) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542455)

Suddenly macs don't seem so expensive any longer, eh?

Re:"costly equipments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542873)

Until Macs start using the technology. Then, of course because it's Apple, they'll have to use sapphires just to be different, even if it results in an inferior product. Then they'll charge more, have a spectacular marketing campaign, and after they've doped enough idiots into buying one they'll claim they were the innovators of the market.

Diamond VS Charcoal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542337)

Maybe they should use charcoal it's made of these carbon atoms everyone's talking about and they have some insulation properties.. That black charcoal will keep these Qubits at their DAMN PLACE WHERE THEY BELONG. IN A CUBICLE DOING PAPERWORK AND MINDLESS ACTIVITIES ALL DAY UNTIL IT DIES OF CANCER OR OLD AGE.

Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40542585)

If you listen to the quacks on the Internet, the government already has at lease one giant quantum computer able to crack any encryption.
True or not, that's my assumption WRT storing sensitive data in the cloud.

You win the prize! (1)

EnergyScholar (801915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543179)

You are correct, according to this internet quack. It went online circa 1996. See my other posts for technical details.

Re:Already done (1)

EnergyScholar (801915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543201)

Oops, sorry, technical correction. Not ANY encryption, only encryption based upon principles that can be cracked via QC. Thus, for example, PKI encryption falls instantly, but 3DES is not vulnerable. Of course, if your communication system uses PKI to exchange the secret keys for 3DES, as is standard, then you are hosed.

Excellent! (3, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 2 years ago | (#40542899)

Diamonds instead of costly equipment? Excellent! This will pair well with my Faberge egg-powered processor.

Re:Excellent! (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543321)

You do know that there are other sorts of diamonds than the pricy rocks sold by DeBeers don't you? Industrial grade diamonds are quite cheap and there are ways now to create diamonds even more perfect that the priciest ornamental gem artificially.

And if you read the article you might have run across this tidbit

"Using a pair of impurities in ultra-pure, laboratory-grown diamonds..."

Oh snap!

Re:Excellent! (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543489)

You do know you can't power a processor with Faberge eggs, don't you? Oh snap!

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544143)

Umm, you were the one implying that using lab grown Diamonds was expensive. Oh snap!

Stored at Room Temp For Two Seconds (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543093)

Thats nothing. I once ate a qubit.

Room Temperature (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40543765)

"stored at room temperature for 2 seconds"

Room temperature can vary a lot. If your a/c isn't working due to power outage it could be 48C on a day like today and if your heat isn't working in the winter it could be -28C

Re:Room Temperature (1)

expatriot (903070) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544201)

The original researchers probably meant STP, you can look it up on your own.

to Neil deGrasse Tyson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40543855)

Take THAT Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson!

Not too shabby (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544041)

given that DRAMs only store a bit reliably for milliseconds yet are the most common electronic storage.

Diamonds (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544657)

Finally some practical application that may be used to justify the artificial cost of diamonds.

Unpure elsewhere in the Universe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40544945)

"which are atomically pure materials on Earth."

But on the Moon they are contminated.

so are we going to get a quantum computer.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40544981)

..that does something a regular computer cannot do - and some demonstration of that any time soon?

(d-wave has nice pr and all.. but wtf does it actually do? have they done practical demonstrations that display an advantage? )

Bring on the blood-computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40545381)

This is good news for Africa

Two seconds... you know what this means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40546189)

Soon, Qubits will outlast the typical Hollywood marriage!

vanchuyenhangdimy.com (1)

lienbien (2677419) | more than 2 years ago | (#40548967)

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Quantum Bigfoot? (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550857)

Reminds me of another quantum storage device...

The old Quantum Bigfoot hard drives could generally be trusted to keep your data intact for about 2 seconds as well.

Re:Quantum Bigfoot? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551701)

Reminds me of another quantum storage device... The old Quantum Bigfoot hard drives could generally be trusted to keep your data intact for about 2 seconds as well.

They weren't very good, but they were cheap.

Re:Quantum Bigfoot? (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552233)

I worked in computer repair when those drives were common. They would drop the partition table and appear as new, unformatted drives regularly. Humorously you could power them on/off 3-4 times and they'd generally pick the table back up and boot normally. Not particularly reassuring.
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