Quantum memory 'world record' smashed
A fragile quantum memory state has been held stable at room temperature for a "world record" 39 minutes - overcoming a key barrier to ultrafast computers."Qubits" of information encoded in a silicon system persisted for almost 100 times longer than ever before.
Quantum systems are notoriously fickle to measure and manipulate, but if harnessed could transform computing.
The new benchmark was set by an international team led by Mike Thewalt of Simon Fraser University, Canada.
"This opens the possibility of truly long-term storage of quantum information at room temperature," said Prof Thewalt, whose achievement is detailed in the journal Science.In conventional computers, "bits" of data are stored as a string of 1s and 0s.
But in a quantum system, "qubits" are stored in a so-called "superposition state" in which they can be both 1s and 0 at the same time - enabling them to perform multiple calculations simultaneously.
The trouble with qubits is their instability - typical devices "forget" their memories in less than a second....MORE