We live in a generation where we witness the procession of contraptions that make our life easier by the day. Thanks to the brains behind such fabulous inventions. These gadgets play an influential role in leading a comfortable life.

One such soon-to-be, life-changing tool is the quantum computer which is being developed in the hope of matching up to the existing counterpart with the help of quantum particles rather than the transistors that the latter uses. Though the quantum computer is under development for more than two decades, the physicists are yet to attain a remarkable result except for the latest creation of a tiny "electron superhighway" that could one day be useful for building a successful quantum computer. In a recent paper in Physical Review Letters, Rice physicists Rui-Rui Du and Ivan Knez describe a new method for making a tiny device called a "quantum spin Hall topological insulator." The device, which acts as an electron superhighway, is one of the building blocks needed to create quantum particles that store and manipulate data. Today's computers use binary bits of data that are either ones or zeros whereas the quantum computers use quantum bits, or "qubits," which can be both ones and zeros at the same time. This quirk gives quantum computers a huge edge in performing particular types of calculations, said Du, professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University,Houston. For example, intense computing tasks like code-breaking, climate modeling and biomedical simulation could be completed thousands of times faster with quantum computers. "In principle, we don't need many qubits to create a powerful computer," he said. "In terms of information density, a silicon microprocessor with 1 billion transistors would be roughly equal to a quantum processor with 30 qubits". They are confident that the information encoded into these qubits is not likely to get lost over time due to quantum fluctuations which is called as fault tolerance. Du and Knez follow "topological quantum computing". Topological designs are expected to be more fault-tolerant than other types of quantum computers.

The topological designs led to the yet-to-be-discovered Majorana fermions, a stable pair of quantum particle that have a virtually immutable shared identity. Physicists believe the particles can be made by marrying a two-dimensional topological insulator to a superconductor. if a small square of a topological insulator is attached to a superconductor, Knez said, “The elusive Majorana fermions are expected to appear precisely where the materials meet. If this proves true, the devices could potentially be used to generate qubits for quantum computing”, he said.

Knez spent more than a year refining the techniques to create Rice's topological insulator. The device is made from a commercial-grade semiconductor that's commonly used in making night-vision goggles. Du said it is the first 2-D topological insulator made from a material that physicists already know how to attach to a superconductor.

"We are well-positioned for the next step," Du said. "Meanwhile, only experiments can tell whether we can find Majorana fermions and whether they are good candidates for creating stable qubits”. This quantum computer is sure to make a mark in the field of computing. So let us keep our fingers crossed and hopefully encounter a worth-a-wait device in the years to come.

I came across this highly informative article in sciencedaily and wanted to share it to my reders to let them enjoy the information as much as I did.

One such soon-to-be, life-changing tool is the quantum computer which is being developed in the hope of matching up to the existing counterpart with the help of quantum particles rather than the transistors that the latter uses. Though the quantum computer is under development for more than two decades, the physicists are yet to attain a remarkable result except for the latest creation of a tiny "electron superhighway" that could one day be useful for building a successful quantum computer. In a recent paper in Physical Review Letters, Rice physicists Rui-Rui Du and Ivan Knez describe a new method for making a tiny device called a "quantum spin Hall topological insulator." The device, which acts as an electron superhighway, is one of the building blocks needed to create quantum particles that store and manipulate data. Today's computers use binary bits of data that are either ones or zeros whereas the quantum computers use quantum bits, or "qubits," which can be both ones and zeros at the same time. This quirk gives quantum computers a huge edge in performing particular types of calculations, said Du, professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University,Houston. For example, intense computing tasks like code-breaking, climate modeling and biomedical simulation could be completed thousands of times faster with quantum computers. "In principle, we don't need many qubits to create a powerful computer," he said. "In terms of information density, a silicon microprocessor with 1 billion transistors would be roughly equal to a quantum processor with 30 qubits". They are confident that the information encoded into these qubits is not likely to get lost over time due to quantum fluctuations which is called as fault tolerance. Du and Knez follow "topological quantum computing". Topological designs are expected to be more fault-tolerant than other types of quantum computers.

The topological designs led to the yet-to-be-discovered Majorana fermions, a stable pair of quantum particle that have a virtually immutable shared identity. Physicists believe the particles can be made by marrying a two-dimensional topological insulator to a superconductor. if a small square of a topological insulator is attached to a superconductor, Knez said, “The elusive Majorana fermions are expected to appear precisely where the materials meet. If this proves true, the devices could potentially be used to generate qubits for quantum computing”, he said.

Knez spent more than a year refining the techniques to create Rice's topological insulator. The device is made from a commercial-grade semiconductor that's commonly used in making night-vision goggles. Du said it is the first 2-D topological insulator made from a material that physicists already know how to attach to a superconductor.

"We are well-positioned for the next step," Du said. "Meanwhile, only experiments can tell whether we can find Majorana fermions and whether they are good candidates for creating stable qubits”. This quantum computer is sure to make a mark in the field of computing. So let us keep our fingers crossed and hopefully encounter a worth-a-wait device in the years to come.

I came across this highly informative article in sciencedaily and wanted to share it to my reders to let them enjoy the information as much as I did.