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Major step taken toward error-free computing

Stable quantum information could make possible solving problems in record time

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1:00pm, April 23, 2014

ENTANGLED  Tiny electrical circuits have given physicists unprecedented control over the quantum states of units of information called qubits. The qubits appear as five crosses (center).

Quantum computing has overcome an important barrier: Scientists have achieved nearly perfect control over a bit of quantum information in a way that could bring them a step closer to error-free calculations.

All digital information comes in tiny packets called bits. In consumer devices, bits are chunks of magnetic or electric material that flip between two distinct states. But thanks to quantum weirdness, certain minuscule objects called quantum bits, or qubits, can exist in two states at once. Physicists have connected multiple qubits with each other to share one overall “entangled” state. Using entanglement, rudimentary quantum computers can run multiple calculations at once and solve simple problems like factoring 15 into 3 and 5 (SN: 3/10/12, p. 26). Because each additional qubit doubles a device’s processing power, future quantum computers should complete tasks far more

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