BEACON TRANSCRIPT – With Canada releasing the news about the first fully-functional biological computer, MIT strikes back with good news about quantum computing. According to a recent press statement, MIT unleashes the five-qubit quantum computer. This one of the first quantum computer prototypes which can perform basic logical problems at greater speeds than a traditional computer.
Maybe the Age of Ultron isn’t so far away, after all, taking into account that we’re on the verge of developing many powerful computational devices.
Recently, a team of scientists from MIT declared that they have been successful in devising a fully-operation quantum computer that can factor the number 15. Although this was not the first attempt made to create a quantum computer, previous attempts failed due to the delicate nature of the qubits.
Qubits are bits of information found in a unique quantum state, called superimposition. To understand superimposition, think of it this way: an average computer can perform calculation and return the results by using the binary system. To all that you see on your PC’s screen and endless streams of ones and zeroes, true or false.
Well, a qubit is beyond one and zero, meaning that the results returned by such a system can befall in the two categories at the same time. Such a device, if perfected, can break any encryption system which uses the prime factorization.
The first prototype of a quantum computer was developed at MIT back in 1994, by Professor Shor. At that time, Shor created a quantum algorithm that would enable a quantum computer to calculate thousands of prime factors, by using the arrangement of atoms.
Later on, Professor Isaac Chuang from MIT, who researched the possibility of using Shor’s algorithm to calculate the factor of 15, predicted that a quantum computer must have at least 12 qubits to perform this calculus.
Still, MIT and the University of Innsbruck managed to create a scalable quantum computer formed from only five qubits. Using this machine, the team manage to compute the factors of 15, without affecting the stability of the whole system.
The team declared that this feat was possible due to a new technology called ion trap. A stream of ions in held in place by using an electrified field and each atom is being lodged and dislodged using a high-powered laser.
To calculate the factor of 15, the researchers from MIT used the laser to implement Shor’s mathematical algorithm in each atom.
Although we are far away from devising a quantum computer that can perform complicated calculations, we can acknowledge the fact that we’ve taken the first steps in an era where thoughts and digital information are one and the same.