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First Quantum Byte Created

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the future-arrives dept.

261

gila_monster writes "Juice Enews Daily is reporting that the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the University of Innsbruck in Austria has created an entanglement of eight quantum particles, yielding a quantum byte or 'qubyte,' or eight qubits. The formal paper was published in the December 1 issue of Nature. A qubyte with eight ions provides a computing matrix of 65536 mostly independent elements. No word in the article about whether they were able to actually use the qubyte for computing."

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no word in the article (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164667)

No word in the article about whether they were able to actually use the qubyte for computing

I think we can be sure that if somebody had unlocked the secret of quantum computing there's a chance they'd say so at some point.

Re:no word in the article (0)

SlashSquatch (928150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164746)

It's no secret. Or is it? The government and scientists don't want you to know! But I can tell you this for certain, the technology used there was obviously stolen from an alien crash site.

"...I can program a computer, choose the perfect time, if you have the inclination, I have got the crime."

Re:no word in the article (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164786)

Quickly get those tinfoil hats on!

Re:no word in the article (4, Insightful)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164758)

I think we can be sure that if somebody had unlocked the secret of quantum computing there's a chance they'd say so at some point.
Unless that someone worked for the National Security Agency [nsa.gov] .

Re:no word in the article (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164787)

And what would an alcoholic like yourself know about anything?

note to non-geek mods who haven't memorised every line of monty python: this is a joke

Re:no word in the article (1, Funny)

bhiestand (157373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164809)

I think we can be sure that if somebody had unlocked the secret of quantum computing there's a chance they'd say so at some point.


Unless that someone worked for the National Security Agency.

Not true! They'd most certainly tell their boss about it, especially when discussing future salaries and promotions.

Re:no word in the article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164983)

Really? I wouldn't.

Re:no word in the article (1)

nri (149893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165062)

8 qubits ?
Is that all.
My AMD has 64bits :-)

Quantum bytes still decryptable? (5, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164672)

Wasn't there some news recently that the so called quantum bits could be read without disturbing their state.
Which would either break quantum theory, or would mean they are just fabricated bits of information and not quantum bits at all.

The article was here [slashdot.org]

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (4, Informative)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164692)

Read the post here [slashdot.org] . It (and a few responses to it) describe why this doesn't violate quantum theory.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (3, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164745)

Doesn't Quantum theory say you cannot read the state without disturbing the state?
The act of finding the state of a quantum bit collapses the quantum wave and obtains a result, ie you can find out what the value is now, but that may disturb what the value was going to be leading to possibly incorrect answers.

Qubits as described by modern phsyical science do not sound like true theoretical quantum bits and just sound more like tiny transistors.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164939)

Yes, the question was, how can you "read" a qubit without disturbing the state without compromising the Uncertainty principle. The link which this idiot asshole Silverlancer provided has someone asking the same question and half a dozen know-it-alls that manage to run their mouths and pretend they know something without providing an answer to that question.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165002)

You can't.

Hence my suggestion that if they say they can we still have not reached quantum bit technology.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165122)

Yes, it'll disturb the state, if there's only one particle in the bit.

However, if you entangle several particles together, one one bit is disturbed, a cotangled bit will probably reset it. From what I gather, the more cotangled particles you have in a bit, the more reliable your bit is.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (1)

gregbains (890793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164693)

Anyone care to explain this a bit more, as it makes no sense to me (not parent, TFA)

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (1)

Knossos (814024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164839)

I dont see how that is possible. Everything I know about Quantum Theory tells me that observing or measuring them changes them. How can you measure its state if it keeps changing. IDK.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164899)

That is exactly my point...

if The article is correct, then we aren't yet using quantum bits, just tiny transistors.

Re:Quantum bytes still decryptable? (1)

PCeye (661091) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165035)

"How can you measure its state if it keeps changing"

Kind of like a Microsoft EULA...

obligatory bill cosby quote (3, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164675)

"God, what's a qubit?"

Re:obligatory bill cosby quote (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164748)

Riiiiight.

The CD. [barnesandnoble.com]

Re:obligatory bill cosby quote (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164877)

"God, what's a qubit?"

It's a little creature that you can make hop around and avoid enemies on three dimensional blocks on a relatively low-resolution screen. But that's not important right now....

Are they sure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164676)

Are they realy sure they found it?
I suggest they look again.

Que? (4, Interesting)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164677)

A qubyte with eight ions provides a computing matrix of 65536 mostly independent elements.


Wouldn't a qubyte just provide an indeteminate number of somewhere between 0 and 255 zombie cats?

Seriously, how do they get a 16 bit number out of an 8 bit qubyte?

Re:Que? (4, Informative)

L0phtpDK (711021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164697)

Umm... No.

One qubit has four states. So its actualy an 8-qubit integer.

(go through the powers of x^4: 4,16,64,256,1024,4096,16384,65536)

Re:Que? (4, Insightful)

marol (734015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164715)

Don't you mean 4^x?

Re:Que? (1)

L0phtpDK (711021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164721)

Oh humm... Yes, it's still morning :).

Re:Que? (1)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164734)

Is there someplace with more info? Because, nowhere in the article does it state that a qubit is 4 state. Just says that a qubit is quantum bit, and wikipedia [wikipedia.org] seems to think that a qubit is 2 state.

Re:Que? (1)

spot35 (644375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164890)

You are correct. A qubit can be in a 1 or a 0 state. However, can also be in both at the same time. Therefore, it can be in 1, 0, 1/0 or 0/1.

I think. I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong.

Re:Que? (3, Informative)

Ruberik (935611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164740)

A qubit has an uncountably infinite number of states: choose any two complex numbers A and B such that |A|^2 + |B|^2 = 1, and they define an allowed qubit. On the other hand, when you measure a qubit's state, you can get one of two results: 0 (with probability |A|^2) or 1 (with probability |B|^2).

I can't find the original article, so I don't know where this 2^16 business is coming from, but I assure you that a qubit does not have four states -- the only useful numbers for counting a qubit's number of states are infinity (quantum states) and two (possible measurement results).

If someone can link the paper this comes from, I'd be interested in reading it: I'm doing a MSc in quantum computing right now, so I might be able to decipher the source of this 2^16 stuff.

Re:Que? (1)

L0phtpDK (711021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164802)

To clarify: It was to my knowledge (and I do not have a doctorate in Quantum physics) that a qubit has the states of 0) 1) and `0) `1) (where ` is a 45 phase shift in Hilbert space). I know this has something to do with Quantum Encryption as well. google brought this: http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/11/3/9 [physicsweb.org] If I am understanding this wrong, please correct me :).

Re:Que? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165012)

There is no theoretical limit to how many states a qubit can have. There may end up being a practical one but that is another matter.

Re:Que? (5, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165055)

If I am understanding this wrong, please correct me :).

You understand this wrong.

A qubit indeed can have one of a continuum of states. For example, if you think of the photon polarisazion, each linear polarization direction corresponds to a distingt state, and then there are the circular and elliptic polarized states as well. Indeed, you can map the states of a qubit onto a sphere (embedded in ordinary 3D space), which is called Bloch sphere. Every point of that sphere corresponds to a (pure) state of the qubit. (Note that the Bloch sphere is not the Hilbert space, but for single qubits, it's IMHO much easier to understand things in the Bloch sphere picture)

Now if you measure, you basically choose a direction on that spere, and you get just one of two results. e.g. if you think of the sphere as Earth's surface, and let's assume you have chosen the direction of the Earth's rotation axis for measurement, then if the state of the qubit (before measurement) is actually the North Pole, you get with certainty one result (which, for obvious reasons, I'll call "North"), and if the state is the South Pole, you get with certainty another result (which I'll now call "South"). However, even if the state is something else, your measurement will never give anything but "North" or "South". The probability to get "North" grows the closer the state is to the North Pole, and equivalently for the South Pole. If the state is at the equator, the probability of getting North or South is the same, i.e. the result of your measurement is completely unpredictable.

Now the funny thing is that after you measured North or South, for an ideal quantum measurement, the state actually is the corresponding Pole, no matter what it was before.

If you map the states described by the article with the Bloch sphere, and say you map the states 0 and 1 to the North and South pole, then the states you named `0 and `1 would be two antipodal states on the equator, say on the zero meridian and on the 180 degree meridian (unlike in the hilbert space, the directions now are not in 45 degrees, but actually orthogonal). That is, if the state is `0 or `1, then any measurement in the north-south direction will give completely unpredictable results. Of course if you choose the direction of the `0 and `1 states (I'll call that the equatorial direction from now on), then those states will create a predictable result, while the North and South pole states will get completely unpredictable results.

Now the nice thing for encryption is that if you don't know if the state was prepared in the North-South direction or the equatorial direction, there's no way for you to know if what you got for a measurement is a prepared state, or just random garbage. Moreover, since measuring in the wrong direction changes the original state (and therefore destroys the information which was originally in there), you'll be able to notice if someone tries to eavesdrop your connection.

Re:Que? (1)

ganache (862322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164703)

8 bits allow for 256 numbers.

8 qubits, however allow for 256*256=65536 since each qubit is both 0 AND 1 at the same time, if I understand it correctly, that is.

Re:Que? (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164769)

That doesn't make sense at all.

If a qubit is both 0 and 1 at the same time it allows for precisely 1 state (which is either 'not useful' or 'completely random' depending on your point of view.

To store data you need at least 2 independent states. That still leaves you the problem than you can't store 65536 values in 8 bits.

Re:Que? (1)

ganache (862322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164790)

But the article isn't talking about storing values. provides a computing matrix of 65536 mostly independent elements

Once the calculation is finished there is only one value, between 0 and 255 but before a measurement is made the qubit is esentially a supposition of every possible value.

That's my understanding of it anyway. I'm most probably wrong, quantum mechanics was never a strong point of mine.

Mostly independent? (2, Informative)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164678)

The phrase "mostly independent" doesn't sound completely reliable to me in a world where a single 0 or 1 can change the entire meaning of data or functionality of software.

Still, with some engineering experience it's easy to fill in what the article omits. Science moved forward and technology implementations will catch up and find a way to overcome issues like these. In fact, some data mirroring with checksums might already be more than sufficient and quantum particles offer sufficient improvements in data/space ratios that duplication should not be a concern.

Re:Mostly independent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165008)

The phrase "mostly independent" doesn't sound completely reliable to me in a world where a single 0 or 1 can change the entire meaning of data or functionality of software.

Erm, the 'mostly independent' part is the entire point and purpose of quantum computation.

Mere checksums won't cut it; disentangling superimposed states is one the major obstacles now to doing quantum computations.

Getting there... (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164682)

... Eight qubits? ISTR that Shor's original quantum error correction code requires nine, and there are simpler codes requiring fewer. We're getting here into a scale where some very interesting features of quantum computation can be demonstrated.

New frontiers in computing (2, Funny)

Urusai (865560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164830)

Maybe we can finally figure out what happened to that dang cat.

Re:New frontiers in computing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164996)

Can someone explain this to me?

Why eight? (4, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164684)

Why did they choose eight 'bits' for their quantum 'byte'? For historical reasons, or is there a logical reason to choose eight? Why not seven, or 42?

I'm not being entirely frivolous - I understand quantum computing is radically different from today's architectures and so don't understand why they are choosing a byte size based on what seems to me to be historical factors.

Re:Why eight? (2, Informative)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164696)

Likely they've tried to get as many bits as possible and just now reached eight. Since eight bits are a byte, eight bits are a newsworthy milestone.

Re:Why eight? (1)

Westley (99238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164720)

I believe the point the parent was trying to make is that eight bits aren't always a byte. (This is why so many standards use "octet stream".)

A byte *typically* (indeed, virtually universally now) consists of eight bits, but there have been architectures with different values.

See http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/B/byte.html [catb.org] for more information.

Re:Why eight? (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164859)

Sure. I doubt any particular number of bits is meaningful for quantum computing though; with such a small number of bits available it becomes a question of how many bits it takes to run an algorithm on a dataset, without any compelling reason to group the bits into anything larger.

Re:Why eight? (1)

City Jim 3000 (726294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164724)

I would propose using a 11-bit byte instead of 8-bit. There's something nice about that number.

byte: approx -1000 - 1000
short: approx -1M - +1M
int: approx -1T - +1T
long: wowsies!

nice huh?

Just a shame it will have to be converted at every friggin stage of internet transport, file compatability etc....

Ah well I guess we're fine with 8 bits.

Re:Why eight? (1)

acaspis (799831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164953)

I would propose using a 11-bit byte instead of 8-bit. There's something nice about that number.

byte: approx -1000 - 1000
short: approx -1M - +1M

No. A 22-byte short would have a range of -2M .. +2M.

AC

Re:Why eight? (1)

stonefoz (901011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164792)

powers of 2 is the magic numbers for binary computer so wouldn't 4 or sixteen be needed in practical terms to be able to do proper addressing? if logic could be coupled to qbits wouldn't 4qbit in mass paralle be workable in the labs shortly?

Re:Why eight? (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164798)

Why did they choose eight 'bits' for their quantum 'byte'? For historical reasons, or is there a logical reason to choose eight? Why not seven, or 42?

42 eh? Good to see someone else spot the Innsbruck connection. :) My (unfortunately not very informed) guess it's a convenience thing. Compatability? The fact that it's a power of two could be convenient for architectural reasons. Maybe even just because they find it easier to think of information in chunks that size, i.e. habit.

Does anyone have a better understanding of the technical issues involved?

Re:Why eight? (4, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165093)

Why did they choose eight 'bits' for their quantum 'byte'?

They probably felt that 7 wasn't enough and 9 was too many.

Let me know when they've untangled it (0)

alnapp (321260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164686)

Might be some use then ;-)

Actual computing (1)

omeg (907329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164707)

"This is an important step toward the realization of a practical quantum computer, which would use superposed quantum states to perform complex calculations." Seems like they haven't been able to actually compute anything with it yet.

Oblig (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164711)

1) Are they certain?
2) What do qbit bytes taste like?
3) So is this cat dead or what?

Re:Oblig (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164924)

Flavours are easy. Up, Down, Sideways, Sex Appeal or Peppermint.

(Apologies to Mr. Pratchett)

*Ominous thunder* (1, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164729)

Today, a qubit. In a couple of decades, a functional quantum computer. At the risk of being hyperbolic, it will do for secrecy and privacy what the atomic bomb did for international conflict.

Unless quantum cryptography gets there first. The race is on.

Re:*Ominous thunder* (2, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164778)

Unless quantum cryptography gets there first. The race is on.

Quantum cryptography already did [slashdot.org] get there first.

Re:*Ominous thunder* (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164897)

You know, I knew that except for the 30 seconds in which I posted. D'oh. Let "there" = "into widespread use".

Mostly independent? (1)

adityapk (841961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164737)

What does "computing matrix of 65536 mostly independent elements" mean? If it is not exactly 65536, then it is not 8 bits. What am I missing?

Re:Mostly independent? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164760)

Even if it is exactly 65536, it's not 8 bits either, that's 16 bits.

TFA is dead, and the summary makes no sense... unless they're using a definition of 'bits' and 'bytes' that is unique to TFA, in which case they need to define their terms.

Re:Mostly independent? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165070)

unless qubits have 4 states.... oh wait, they do!

Re:Mostly independent? (3, Funny)

spot35 (644375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164920)

We are qubit 7 of 8 or computing matrix 65536. We will will add your cryptographic and entangled distinctivenes to our own. We are the qubyte. Resistance is uncertain.

Re:Mostly independent? (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165064)

Qu-Borg...I love it..(We are, or are not the Borg, choose to be assimilated) best laugh I had all week. Wish I could mod Up as Funny. Thanks!

So... (1)

Veneratio (935302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164747)

Am i reading this right that instead of the datatraffic as we know it, they would be sending qubytes and we'd get data depending on the state of that qubyte? How is this going to work? I mean, all datatraffic as we have it now (POTS, ISDN, Fibre etc) is all based on "bursts" (think 0/1 volts, lightshocks etc) right?

Okay, so im completely confused here, i'll readily admit it. But then, im no quantumphysics expert by any means either.

Would anyone care to enlighten me?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164768)

"So..." referrs to that "spooky action at a distance" that decidedly made the big E uneasy.

A simplified means of looking at a four state "bit" would be assign two binary bits to each quantum state. 00 01 10 11 to the various spins on an electron.

Whats a Qbit? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164757)

They say that a Qbyte is an array of 256x256. I thought that Qbits represented a complex real number, it seems to me now that it represents a complex boolean number, like : (0 OR 1) + j*(0 OR 1). Did I get it right?

Re:Whats a Qbit? (1)

craznar (710808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164832)

Isn't a QBit an ancient measure of length ?

Re:Whats a Qbit? (0)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164856)

no, that's a Cubit

Re:Whats a Qbit? (1)

msdschris (875574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165057)

So now we can have "Enlarge your P3nis to 10 qubits" spam?

Re:Whats a Qbit? (3, Insightful)

centie (911828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164864)

A qubit is a superposition of two states, a 1 and a 0 if you like. So it containes some 0 and some 1, or written as a|0> + b|1>, where a and b describe "how much" (more accuratly the probability) of 0 and 1 in the state. a and b are in general complex numbers. One qubit has then 2d hilbert space, 2 quibits 4d and 3 quibts 8d etc. So 8 qubits has a 256 dimensional space for its complex amplitudes (a and b etc) to inhabit.

Re:Whats a Qbit? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164881)

Thx for the explanation. it'd deserve to be modded to Interesting indeed.

So they say it provides a matrix of 256x256 mostly independant elements. Are those elements represented by a complex number? And if so, how reliable on the precision can this complex number be?

Re:Whats a Qbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165024)

Qubit is this cute little orange guy with no arms and a big nose who used to jump around on funny looking pyramid thing.

This advance is amazing. I dunno how they got 8 of them jumping around on that little pyramid at once!

A few more.. (3, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164780)

We need a few more before quantum porn.

Think about it..any kind of porn in one file..

Re:A few more.. (4, Funny)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164860)

Mmmm, quantum porn. Super-position, entanglement and some guy with a pussy.

J.

And then comes recursion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164805)

...supposing that there's an infinite hierarchy of subatomic organization...oh wait, they already did this in Hitchhiker's Guide, didn't they? Never mind...

Think of the cats! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164813)

Let us all take a minute to reflect on all the cats who died in support of this research.

Or maybe they didn't.

Star Trek School of Programming (3, Funny)

UncleAlias (157955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164823)

"That's not a bug, that's a quantum singularity!"

But... (2, Funny)

cshank4 (917540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164841)

But will it run Linux?

And God Said to Moses... (5, Funny)

craznar (710808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164842)

... build a Linux Box 40 Qubits in size....

Why, Oh, Why? (3, Funny)

tcdk (173945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164858)

Do we really need this? I can't imagine how anybody will have usage for more that four qubits anyway. When will the madness stop?

What idiot moderator... (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164912)

modded this "troll"? Clearly this is a variant on the usual "4k should be enough..." thing. It is a JOKE.

Re:What idiot moderator... (1)

tcdk (173945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164927)

Thanks, I was wondering about that as well. Okay, my humour may not be for everbody, but I've gotten two "troll" and two "overrated" moderations on that one. WTF?

Re:What idiot moderator... (0)

msdschris (875574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165034)

A joke perhaps, but not a funny joke. Not a troll, but definatly not +1 funny.

Quantum Calculations (2, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164865)

My laymans understanding of quantum computing is that it will enable massively parallel calculations to occur simulataneously.

The problem however is that you get all the answers simultaneously, and that the *real* problem is then finding efficient algorithms to search the results space.

Could someone who actually knows what that all means dumb it down to our level, and explain how quantum computing will actually be useful?

Re:Quantum Calculations (4, Informative)

centie (911828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164906)

You've kind of answered your own question..

The massive parrallel computation with a single element means you can solve *certain* problems in, for example, 2n instead of 2^n steps. But yes, then you get a bit matrix of answers, and reading them all out takes the same amount of steps as classical computing. But, your only usually intristed in some of the answers, so you can then use another algorithm (eg Deutsch-Jozsa) to read those out, again faster than classically.

So you get a substantial decrease (ofton exponential) in the time taken to solve *cetain* problems. Some of these problems would simply be impossible to solve in any reasonable timescales (eg milennia) using classical algorithms.

Re:Quantum Calculations (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164930)

Thanks for that.

Mike.

Here's a no-b.s. article on quantum computers (4, Informative)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164876)

I found this at Caltech [caltech.edu] , a piece on quantum computers. I've never really taken quantum computation seriously -- it just seemed too far-fetched. If they've really got 8-bits, maybe quantum computing will matter in my lifetime.

From reading the piece, it sounds like we will have some major problems with our current cryptographic systems if quantum computers become available.

Make no bones about it, Calcium works (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164882)

"With a trap using magnetic fields they captured eight calcium ions, lined them up, and set up them in "W states" using a complicated laser technology"

Calcium again coming to the rescue to provide structure for a complex system. What would people or quantum computers be without it?

Re:Make no bones about it, Calcium works (2, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165113)

What would people or quantum computers be without it?

Flexible?

Quantum computing (1)

Systat (935622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164888)

Maybe once they impliment it they will finally be able to make some AI that will kill us all eventually. Lets hope if that happens that they don't let the machines see the matrix.

Re: Matrix (1)

Sholmas (834335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165009)

You mean that if advanced machines exterminate the human race, we should hope that they wouldn't get the idea of "reconstructing" the human race, and then build a huge computer simulator to let us continue our lives in ignorance inside a simulation of the long lost past? ...that sounds like a REALLY mean thing to do...

Quazy quantum quadvertising... (1)

PSaltyDS (467134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164905)

From the "article": "This experiment proves that the kind of ion traps used in Innsbruck are the most promising technology for the realization of large computing matrices."

This is the kind of press release with a primary message of "Dump huge buckets of cash HERE." No harm in that, Innsbruck needs to stump for research money like any University, but where do we find a comparitive check on _other_ technologies for realization of large computing matrices? The minimal description given of the Innsbuck device sounds way to complex and expensive for scaling up to "large computing matrices."

Anyone got nice links on other methods?

Quantum Data Storage (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164934)

FTA: With a trap using magnetic fields they captured eight calcium ions

So, I guess floppy disks would be ruled out at this point.

yay! (5, Funny)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164943)

I was born in 1983, but now I can re-experience even advances in computing that happened in the seventies and before! Cabinet-sized hard-drives that hold a couple of megabytes? Quantum computing is at A FEW QUBITS! I doubt many people here lived through the ENIAC (and realized what it meant at the time), but that's exactly what my grandchildren will be hearing from me. Granson, back in my day we had EIGHT QUBITS! Not qubytes, QUBITS, sonny boy, eight of 'em. Like this: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Total. And that was state of the art. It was a research demonstration! And we liked it!

"There is a world market for 4, maybe 5 quantum computers."

"512 kiloqubytes outta' be enough for anybody!"

Etc, etc, etc. WHOOOHOO!!! I was there at ground zero, baby!!! In ought six!!!!

What do you mean ought-six, grandpa? "I mean 2006, granson".

"Whoa! When were you born?"

"I was born in the LAST MILENNIUM, GRANSON"

"Did they have cars?"

"Just road ones."

"What about Google?"

"yeah, but it wasn't like today. Man I wish I'd have held on to that stock tho'..."

Why confuse everyone? (0)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164975)

If a qubit has 4 states, shouldn't a qubyte just be two qubits?

I mean if the switch to quantium computing means a totally different way of talking about how data is measured, that will cause a lot of confusion and mayhem in the market.

No word? (2, Funny)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165073)

Actually, there was an announcement, but they used their qubit to crack your ssh key in five seconds and deleted it from your email.

Schroedinger wants to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Antonymous Flower (848759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165097)

Any word on how many kittens they killed?

Re:Schroedinger wants to know... (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165124)

anywhere between 0 and 65536, there's no way to be sure.
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