Latest Issue of Science News


Light shines in quantum-computing arena

For a few years, scientists have been predicting that computers exploiting the quantum properties of matter will carry out computations billions of times faster than today's supercomputers. Yet the technical challenges are so daunting that such quantum computers may not be feasible for decades.

Now, researchers have developed a new, yet less exotic computing method that may be as good as quantum computing for certain tasks, such as searching databases. The method relies entirely on classical physics, say Ian Walmsley and his colleagues of the University of Rochester in New York. To convert their ideas into hardware, the Rochester scientists have built an optical device and successfully demonstrated the method.

The group reported its results at the Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science conference in Baltimore last week.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.