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Quantum Computing: Neon Ice Qubits Provide Stable Platform for Quantum Computing

By Dick Weisinger

Researchers around the world have been trying to build a new generation of computers call quantum computers that will be able to perform calculations many orders of magnitude faster than traditional computers. Traditional computing uses transistor bits that store data as a series of “0” or “1”. Quantum computers are based on qubits which store data as “0”, “1”, or simultaneously both “0” and “1”.

In the US, some companies investigating quantum computing include IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Honywell. All are recording patents and reporting progress, but progress is inching slowly.

John Nichol, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Rochester, said that “a quantum computer needs to have many qubits, and they’re really difficult to make and operate. The state-of-the art right now is doing something with only a few qubits, so we’re still a long ways away from realizing the full potential of quantum computers.”

Earlier in the year an international team led by researchers at Argonne National Laboratories announced a new technique for constructed the qubit building block for quantum computers. The new technique embedded single electronics in a bed of frozen neon. The electron qubit retained it’s state for significantly longer than what has been attained by other researchers, so the new technique appears to be promising.

Dafei Jin, researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, said that “this is a completely new qubit platform. It adds itself to the existing qubit family and has big potential to be improved and to compete with currently well-known qubits.”

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