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321 comments

But will it run Linux? (0)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459487)

I must say I'm intruiged by the potential of this new technology. I hope it moves quickly out into the public, (primarily because I don't like the sound of "128bit Archetecture")

Re:But will it run Linux? (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459670)

Keep in mind a 64 bit processor can address 17 billion gig of ram. You only really need 128 bit processing if you want to address more than that. 64 bit processing is only interesting because we've begun to hit the 4 gig/processor barrier. The wikipedia article on 128 bit processing points out that it's probably not efficient for a single 128 bit processor to have over 17 billion gig of ram to itself anyway -- it'd probably make far more sense to split the ram up between several 64 bit processors instead.

Re:But will it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459767)

"17 billion gig of ram should be enough for anyone"

Re:But will it run Linux? (4, Interesting)

Craigj0 (10745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459840)

Actually for some people there are reasons to move beyond 64 bits besides address space. There are a lot of processors that are used in DSP that work on >64 bit intergers. However for a general purpose machine proccessing of large intergers is probably better off in specialised units like altivec.
As a side note current 64 bit processors only actually can access about 40-45 bits of address space since all those extra pins cost money and are unlikely to be used.

Re:But will it run Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459717)

yes | no

Very nice, but imagine... (2, Funny)

KanSer (558891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459493)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these bady boys!

(Had to, sorry.)

Re:Very nice, but imagine... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459656)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these bady boys!

Well. First you need a cluster of boxes and then a cluster of cats to put in those boxes...

The Bad News (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459496)


The bad news? We won't be seeing any notebooks or handhelds with quantum chips in the near future.

Yeah, right. Let me introduce myself, my name is Richard and I am Vice Peon, Assistant to the High Junior Acolyte In Charge of Dustbins of the Holy Order of 8th Day Advanced Micro Devicers. Once we were few in numbers, our faith challenged at every turn by the Church of Intel. Scoffed at, most cruelly as rank copyists without an innovation to our name. After years of wandering the wilderness between iterations our faith was rewarded most gloriously! Speak not of Quantum Notbooks and Handhelds being a thing of dreams, for we know the mighty AMD will deliver.

You'll see, you just watch! Ya betcha! Wrist devices, wearable quantum rings. Any second now. Yeah...

Re:The Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459617)

Just imagine - you could wear a quantum ring that would shift the spectrum it reflects when your mood changes!

Re:The Bad News (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459855)

Just imagine - you could wear a quantum ring that would shift the spectrum it reflects when your mood changes!

Yes and the proto type will be called: The One Ring.

that acolyte sauron, he sure is in a rotten mood...

Re:The Bad News (1)

0mni (734493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459623)

AMD will deliver but not in the near future like the poster states. Quantum home computing is not going to be at any sort of a place to be worthwhile in the near future. There simply isnt a large enough market for such a thing at the moment, not to mention the amount of development time a completely new form of computing like this will take before it is ready for mainstream integration. But don't forget near future for computing is a lot closer than near future for something like biotech, we could be looking at 10-15 years before mainstream desktop implementation (if something better for desktop doesnt come along), I wouldn't exactly call this near future for computing, but to each their own.

Re:The Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459819)

more bad news

sir, we have a problem
what is it accolyte?
one of the guys in the lab has a cold and sneezed on the quantum chip
eeewww!! what is the damage
we dont know, it triggered a black hole and swallowed half of the lab!
good quantum lord! how many casualties, just the sneezing guy, everyone else ran away on time, his arm is still hanging from the quantum reversor emergency lever (the thing that collapses black holes from happening, you know, a useful device in any black hole prone environment).

how sad...

Wow...Imagine what they could do with that? (1)

voss (52565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459497)

A commodore 64 the size of a grain of rice!
Unfortunately plugging in the joystics becomes harder. ;-)

I believe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459498)

...that Slashdot already has this chip. When the great troll thread was "observed" by an editor, every post in the whole thread collapsed to a single state from a quantum superposition of many states.

There might be a small problem (5, Funny)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459507)

as you might be able to know where the computer is but not what it is doing or what it is doing but not where it is at the same time...

Re:There might be a small problem (5, Funny)

skiddy (945519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459749)

I think I have a quantum girlfriend :(

Re:There might be a small problem (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459876)

I think I have a quantum girlfriend :(
The rest of slashdot thinks you have an imaginary girlfriend.

wtfosaurus rex says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459510)

University of Michigan scientists have created the first quantum microchip, which could be a giant stride in the race to produce a new generation of brawny, super-fast computers.

Working with individual ions is key to building powerful computing machines that will exploit quantum physics -- instead of transistors -- and trump the power of today's most powerful supercomputers.

So, on a semiconductor chip roughly the size of a postage stamp, the Michigan scientists designed and built a device known as an ion trap, which allowed them to isolate individual charged atoms and manipulate their quantum states.

An ion expresses a positive or negative charge, depending on whether its parent atom has a missing or an extra electron. And ions are the preferred building blocks for a quantum system.

"The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion, which can then be controlled with an electrical field," said Daniel Stick, a doctoral student in the University of Michigan's physics department who participated in the work.

To isolate an ion, scientists confine it in the ion trap while applying electric fields. Laser light manipulates the spin of the ion's free electron to flip it between quantum states.

The spin of the electron dictates the value of the quantum bit, or "qubit." For example, an up-spin can represent a one, or a down-spin can represent a zero -- or the qubit can occupy both states simultaneously.

This enigmatic feature of quantum mechanics is what gives the qubit a powerful advantage over the binary digit of classical computing. Known as quantum superposition, the ability of the qubit to occupy two quantum states at once means that it can execute computations at an exponentially faster rate. Each time a qubit is added to a quantum system, its computing power doubles.

The new chip, which is made of gallium arsenide, should be easily scaled and mass-produced, because it's made using microlithography -- the same process that makes microchips.

Scientists can grow the chip using multiple one-atom-thick layers in a process called molecular beam epitaxy.

The finished chip has an empty space in its center that is engineered to extremely precise dimensions. Cantilevered electrodes surround the space, which is open to allow laser beam access and observation of the trapped ion.

Laser pulses fired into vaporized cadmium prepare ions for the trap. Once an ion is trapped, it floats in electric fields supplied by the chip's electrodes, according to Christopher Monroe, a physics professor at the University of Michigan who led the project.

A valuable feature of the quantum chip is that its size can be scaled to accommodate the objectives of a particular project. "Our target is to eventually develop a chip that can entrap 10 ions at a time," said Monroe. "But the primary goal is to prove that it works."

Will your notebook or desktop PC someday sport quantum innards? It's unlikely, at least in the immediate future. Researchers believe quantum systems will be much more efficient at rock-solid cryptography and mass database searches than running the latest version of Doom.

Quantum Pairs (5, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459524)

Expect this story to be dupped again. This time, it will be the fault of their new CPU, not Slashdot.

Finally, a dupe excuse for Slashdot!

Pun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459534)

The first quantum chip is really light.

How many Qubits? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459541)

The deparment new service article [umich.edu] has a few more details. They don't state it explictly, but it seems to be implied that is only 1-qubit.

So, they still have a ways to go if they haven't achieved a 2-qubit entanglement yet, but it is at least a manfacturing advance.

M$ Windows XP compatible (0, Troll)

ferar (64373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459544)

In oher news, Bill Gates anounces xbox quantum for next summer.

Re:M$ Windows XP compatible (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459565)

The Developers are expected to make it more stable then the current release or face the "Chairing of their life".

Re:M$ Windows XP compatible (0, Flamebait)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459650)

Yup, that sounds like it should be in keeping with Microsoft's vaporware feature policies.

Interesting, for two reasons (2, Insightful)

megla (859600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459582)

1: As a proof of concept, it's a good start. I was always rather unsure how practical all this QC stuff actually was, as although the benefits look great, the technology seems to be incredibly complex.

2: It's a nice slap in the face for the various people who still doubt the validity of quantum theory itself. The fact that this is possible shows it's definately on the right lines.

Q-Net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459621)

It would be a long way in the future, but I imagine that a quantum internet, where entanglement is used to transmit data instantly around the world, may one day be possible. Finally, no more lag! Even weirder, we could have computers, even single processors, consisting of multiple different parts around the world.

Here's a Question for you: (4, Interesting)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459625)

From TFA:

Researchers believe quantum systems will be much more efficient at rock-solid cryptography and mass database searches than running the latest version of Doom.

Any particular reason why? I mean, bits are bits, are they not? Or is this saying a game architechture couldn't take advantage of a qubit?

The Power of Quantum Computers [wikipedia.org] is a good insight into just why this is a good system for factorization, and thus, breaking the stuffing out of encryption systems.

Another question (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459690)

Each time a qubit is added to a quantum system, its computing power doubles.

Wouldn't a regular binary 2-postion bit (0 or 1) double the "power"? Similarly, wouldn't a qubit, 3-position bit (0 or 1 or both) triple the "power"?

Re:Here's a Question for you: (1)

Rac3r5 (804639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459703)

I think this statement is the same as what that IBM guy said about there being a market for just 1 or 2 computers in the world.

I don't see why it would be better at solving 1 mathematical problem over another. Anyone who has done game programming knows that most of it is basically mathematics. Positioning, rendering, trajectory etc.

I don't see why computing factorials would be the only use?

Re:Here's a Question for you: (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459752)

Modern games programming only uses certain mathematical operations over and over again. That's not to say that someone won't come up with an inovative new kind of game that uses the factoring of large numbers as part of its processing, of course.

Oh, and factoring numbers is not the same as computing factorials ;)

Re:Here's a Question for you: (1)

zwad (937823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459805)

Quantum Computers are only faster when there is a Quantum Algorithm for the problem at hand. Quantum Algorithms are very tricky to come up with. It is really not known what problems can be solve quicker by Quantum Computers. But right now the only problem I know of that has been solved is factoring.

Re:Here's a Question for you: (4, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459788)

No, qbits arent bits.
Since reading a "register" destroys the coherent stats and leads to one (of the many possible) readings, you cannot use most algorithms with quantum chips.
There are only a handful algorithms yet that work theoretically at all (like the famous shore-algorithm to factorize numbers). As a easy guideline, the "you can calculate all possible combinations at once" idea of quantum computing is destroyed for most stuff because of the reading limitations.
So the way to go is trying to find algorithms in which the end result of the quantum register will give a bias in the readout that will give you a hint for the properties of a large manyfold of input factors.

Re:Here's a Question for you: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459791)

The reason it won't work for Doom is that, since it depnds upon the quantum state of the CPU's registers, the state of the frag will be indeterminate until some outside observer comes along and the event collapses.

Re:Here's a Question for you: (2, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459796)

From the very article you linked:

The class of problems that can be efficiently solved by quantum computers is called BQP, for "bounded error, quantum, polynomial time". Quantum computers only run randomized algorithms, so BQP on quantum computers is the counterpart of BPP on classical computers.

I don't know how much of a background you have in Computational Mathematics, but the gist of it is that the properties that make a quantum computer very, very good at things like encryption make them very, very bad at everyday, deterministic stuff like desktop computing.

Re:Here's a Question for you: (1)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459848)

Doom is very quantum. Monsters exist in variable states of dead and not dead until you shoot them. Only then can you deterministicaly say they are dead.

Re:Here's a Question for you: (5, Informative)

centie (911828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459866)

The problem is that there are only a very limited number of quantum algorithms which give a significant increase in performance over classical computing. Infact, there's only really two main classes; those based on Shors quantum fourier transform and those based on Grovers quantum search. So the possibility for exponential (Shor) or quadratic (Grover) performance gains, at the moment, is only available for a very limited number of problems. Not to say that in the future someone wont develope an algorithm which allows doom to be run faster, just at the moment its not known.

For the first replier, qubits do NOT have three states of 1, 0 and 1&0. They are a superposition of 1 and 0. Think of it like a globe with 1 at the north pole and 0 at the south, the value of the qubit can be any point on the surface of the globe. This gives an infinte number of values, not just 3.

VC pre-marketing branding research... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459636)

...in an effort to capitalize on stressing the inexpensive substrate, and finding naming the chip Gallium too redundant, selected Arsenium instead, which coincidentally also provided a necessary disclaimer--that the processor is currently only capable of presenting slightly funny comedy video.


The chip would, additionally, have little difficulty rendering this post.

Qubit can occupy both states simultaneously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459638)

The spin of the electron dictates the value of the quantum bit, or "qubit." For example, an up-spin can represent a one, or a down-spin can represent a zero -- or the qubit can occupy both states simultaneously.

Talking about storage, does that mean my HD has my MP3's but is blank at the same time?

No Doom???? (1, Offtopic)

hellfire (86129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459642)

Will your notebook or desktop PC someday sport quantum innards? It's unlikely, at least in the immediate future. Researchers believe quantum systems will be much more efficient at rock-solid cryptography and mass database searches than running the latest version of Doom.

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm crushed!

Re:No Doom???? (1)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459874)

Don't worry, following the rate at which they release Doom games, it should be ready by Doom 4.

Qauntum clock speeds. (1)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459643)

What they didn't tell you is that every time they tried to measure the speed, the chip would break.

Re:Qauntum clock speeds. (1)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459665)

Or According to Schroedinger Applied: The Computer, Until it is measured, is in a "beta" state where it is half functional and half unfunctional, until you look up from the comment you have been typing.

Uncertainty principle (1)

JabrTheHut (640719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459783)

Uncertainty principle: You either know what speed your computer runs at, or where it is, but never both at the same time.

Obviously designed for windows (4, Funny)

hurfy (735314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459649)

"For example, an up-spin can represent a one, or a down-spin can represent a zero -- or the qubit can occupy both states simultaneously"

This way windows can be working and not working at the same time.

oh, wait.....

Re:Obviously designed for windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459797)

This way windows can be working and not working at the same time.

You mean not working and not working at the same time! :)

it reminds me of the old memory (1)

doorbender (146144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459659)

the one that was two wires crisscrossing in a ring magnet. anyone else remember those?

 

why bad news? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459664)

I'm GLAD it won't happen soon! Imagine someone tapping into your SSL sessions with his quantum chip!

Besides, i'm much more interested in optical or spin-based chips with nearly zero-power-consumption than a quantum entanglement chip.

But surely... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459674)

that means when they know what speed it's running, they won't know where it is?

(Yeah, bit rubbish, sorry)

Hmm. (2, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459675)

Researchers believe quantum systems will be much more efficient at rock-solid cryptography and mass database searches than running the latest version of Doom.

They have no idea what this will lead to. Remember research 50 years ago? Huge, vacuum tubes, hundreds of calculations a second (maybe). They thought the world would have maybe 5-10 computers. Who envisioned Doom, or the Internet?

Same way with quantum computing. Right now we have very primitive experimental technology and think a few researchers might eventually benefit. I'd like to see what we're doing in 50-100 years.

Re:Hmm. (1)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459725)

Time will tell, but there are only 3 problems that quantum computers are (theoretically) good at:

Integer factorization
Discrete log problems
Quantum physics simulations

More problems might be found, but I don't think you'll be running "Doom" on your quantum computer because of this limitation.

This could turn security inside out..... (2, Insightful)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459679)

When (if) a quantum computer can eventually be made, it'll probably have more then enough power to crack many of the currently used encryption schemes. Such a big jump in computing ability (from that little I've read about quantum computing and my roommates ranting, it's that powerful) will definately present a problem for security schemes. Things may get interesting then......

Electric Charge (1)

stoutpuppy (889407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459681)

Damn Americans... electrons have a negative charge and losing an electron creates a cation (positively charged ion) not an anion (negatively charged ion). Electricity flows with electrons (negative), they are not positive just because it looks nicer. Now if we want to change the definition of charge for protons, antiprotons, and positrons as well and create that as the generally accepted standard through legitimate means then that's okay but American 'behavior' (see or, our) is rather ego-centric.

Article Error? (0, Redundant)

hereschenes (813329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459682)

FTA:
"The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion, which can then be controlled with an electrical field," said Daniel Stick, a doctoral student in the University of Michigan's physics department who participated in the work.

I haven't done physics since first year university, so I could well be speaking from ignorance, but can someone explain to me how an atom that loses an electron becomes negatively charged?

Re:Article Error? (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459753)

Unless something weird is going on.. it shouldnt. Likely an article error. I posted on the same thing about 10 seconds later than you, too. :)

Leave it to slashdot to correct press-science. In fact, come to think of it, I think a lot of major news articles would benefeit from being run by the hawkish eyes of the slashdot crowd. There's so many errors in science journalism these days its embarrassing for the media.

Re:Article Error? (1)

dawhippersnapper (861941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459768)

If it had more than one too many in the first place =)

Re:Article Error? (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459800)

I'd buy that.. but metal atoms REALLY dont like to be simple anions (i.e. -1), let alone -2, which would be the requisite. The real trick would be to keep the metal from giving up that extra electron.

Re:Article Error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459829)

damn you! beat me to pointing this out by 3 minutes. hehehe

uh oh... (0, Flamebait)

seven of five (578993) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459684)

quantum computing leads to uncrackable DRM?

Re:uh oh... (relax) (1)

sinewalker (686056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459842)

No. QC leads to the death of DRM, since a QC can theoretically crack a hard problem (finding prime factors) very quickly. Since hard problems with trapdoors are the basis of all encryption algothims today, DRM based on encryption becomes crackable with a QC, unless mathemagicians can find a problem so hard that it can't be cracked by brute force, even given an infinite time to do it in...

QC = the end of encryption as we know it, not the start of amazingly uncrackable codes.

Probably what will happen is that only the spooks can have a QC (like with Cray computers, which must be destroyed when decomissioned, to prevent falling into the "wrong" hands). Unless a way can be found to build a viable QC in the back yard...

Backwards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459697)

FTA: "The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion"



Umm... since electrons are by definition negatively charged, wouldn't losing one make the it a POSITIVELY charged Ion? Or am I missing something?

Say what??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459701)

"The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion, ..." said Daniel Stick, a doctoral student in the University of Michigan's physics department...

So losing an electron gives you NEGATIVE charge? woooow, this quantum stuff is REALLY new and innovative...

Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (2, Informative)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459702)

I'm sure they're doing some great work... but my chemistry tells me something a little funny about this quote:

"The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion, which can then be controlled with an electrical field," said Daniel Stick, a doctoral student in the University of Michigan's physics department who participated in the work.

Excuse me ? Generally when atoms LOSE electrons, they become POSITIVE. Quantum wierdness indeed.

Re:Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459721)

P.S. to avoid the standard "I am not a chemist but..."
I am a chemist.

Re:Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (1)

h2oliu (38090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459762)

I submitted that to Wired, yesterday. They ignored me. I'm glad someone here pointed it out.

Re:Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (1)

stoutpuppy (889407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459737)

I posted the same thing in another post. Either a simple gamma-geek muck up or they were taught good old Southern American Science mmmMmmm good. I'm quite sure they were unable to synthesize an anti-cadmium atom since they can't get past hydrogen yet. Anti-hydrogen is also difficult to make as is and annihilates with normal matter. That's the only way electro-magnetic properties should be opposite.

Re:Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (1)

Merle Darling (33121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459789)

Aw, damnit.. You beat me to it too, now I'm going to be smoking the redundant mods. Thanks a lot! =)

Re:Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459844)

Amusingly enough, someone else beat us both to it, so i'm gonna be feeling the redundancy wrath, too.

Re:Uh... Chem 101 anyone ? (1)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459882)

I agree, the following joke proves it:

Atom 1- Are you sure you lost an electron?

Atom 2- I'm positive.

I like this writeup better (2, Informative)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459764)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20060112/bs_nf/40876 [yahoo.com]

Just personal preference. I see new developments on this almost weekly in my various search agents. I think this will be one of those things that "sneaks up on" the world even though they are very steadily developing the next generation microchip. It all still looks like babysteps but we have gone from quantum theory to working prototypes pretty quickly. These reports often have a very Sci-Fi quality to them but apparently they are legit or lots of news outlets have been misled.

Another stunt by a university (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459769)

Why is stuff like this left to university departments anyway? Where's the startup companies doing research to make a quantum chip and be the next Intel/Motorolla/AMD? Speaking of the current giants, why aint they doing this research in an effort to stay ahead of their competitors? It's just fat cat compacancy and it makes my stomach churn to see no-one putting their hand up to knock them off their perch.

Re:Another stunt by a university (1)

svnt (697929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459843)

From the group's "Acknowledgements" section:

"Funding for this research is provided by the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Army Research Office (ARO), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation Information and Technology Research (ITR) Program. Our group is a part of the National Science Foundation FOCUS Physics Frontier Center and the College of LS&A Optical Physics Interdisciplinary Laboratory."

Best of luck to the startup rolling against 300 million taxpayers.

Am I missing something? (2, Informative)

Merle Darling (33121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459778)

From TFA, emphasis added:
"The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion, which can then be controlled with an electrical field," said Daniel Stick, a doctoral student in the University of Michigan's physics department who participated in the work.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but basic high school chemistry says that an atom that loses an electron has an overall positive charge, which makes it a positively charged ion or a cation [wikipedia.org]...

I'm not sure I want this guy designing my computer. =)

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Insightful)

Tharkban (877186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459794)

It's not very nice to highlight his name. If he's designing quantum computers, he either had a dislexic moment or got misquoted. My guess is the latter.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459832)

I believe he was highlighting the fact that he was a doctoral student, who really should know these things. But knowing the press, I bet it was them and not him who's at fault w/ the misquote.

In any event, it's still the press's fault for not checking what should be an obvious discrepancy in a story. But that would require the writer to have a good solid science background, which many journalists, sadly, do not.

No DOOM? (1)

Yurka (468420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459780)

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers".

Attributed to one Mr. Watson, president of International Business Machines corporation, in 1943.

Insert the word "quantum", shake, repeat (history).

State names (1)

Intellectual Elitist (706889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459786)

> "For example, an up-spin can represent a one, or a down-spin can represent a zero -- or the qubit can occupy both states simultaneously"

So what are the state names, "tea", "no tea", and "intelligent"...?

Moore's Law for Quantum Components? (1)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459809)

Will there be a Moore's Law for the quantum components (ie. the ions)?

Suppose we start off with 8 qubits, then how long will it take us before we get to 16, and then 32, etc?

How many qubits would you have to get upto, in order for a quantum microchip to catch on for mainstream business and consumer applications?

Finally, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459816)

a computer small enough to smallow!

Spot the error... (-1, Redundant)

JohnPM (163131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459824)

The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion...

It must have lost one of those funky quantum positively charged electrons if it then becomes negatively charged.

ladies and gentleman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14459826)

prepare to recompile your binaries yet again. steve jobs - 2010

Huh? (0, Redundant)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459890)

From TFA:
"The cadmium atom that has lost an electron becomes a negatively charged ion, which can then be controlled with an electrical field," said Daniel Stick, a doctoral student in the University of Michigan's physics department who participated in the work.
It's been twenty years since I've done chemistry but last time I checked losing an electron causes an atom to become positively charged - it would have to gain an extra electron to become negatively charged. So is this a typo, or has Quantum Physics turned everything on its head, including Electronic Principles?

Wait until the news corps get ahold of this (1)

addictedavi (898607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459898)

I personally can't wait until Fox or CNN reports this, launching into a very dumbed-down, 20 second summary of the past 80 years of physics. Cover your eyes, Jimmy...
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