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Engineers build “huge atoms” that enhance quantum computers



The Great Chonker

Scientists have found a new way to improve the fragile and prone errors that make up a quantum computing circuit – and it’s weird.

Qubits tend to make mistakes and can disintegrate quickly as they transmit information. Thus, MIT’s team of engineers built artificial superconducting “giant atoms” by joining several elbows of common atoms. These huge atoms are easier to control and much harder to destroy during normal operations. A survey published on Wednesday in a magazine nature, suggests that these huge atoms could help bring quantum computers that are truly practical.

Long distance call

The problem with traditional qubits, which are the quantum version of 1

s and 0s in a classical computational system, is that they can communicate well with neighboring qubits, but information sent over a longer quantum circuit tends to decompose.

In contrast, giant atoms can be tuned to not only improve the fidelity of information, but can also be blocked from being transmitted until it is assumed that this is another problem with existing qubits.

User manual

Finally, MIT engineers hope that their huge atoms lead to a simpler and improved form of quantum computers.

“This allows us to probe a new mode of physics that is difficult to access with natural atoms,” said MIT engineer Bharath Kannan in a press release. “The effects of a huge atom are extremely pure and easy to observe and understand.”

“The tricks we used are relatively simple,” he added, “and as such we can imagine how to use it for other applications without a lot of additional overhead.”

READ MORE: “Large atoms” allow quantum processing and communication in one [MIT]

More information on improving quantum computers: Scientists are building a quantum teleporter based on black holes


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