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RezQu: a scalable quantum computer

RezQu quantum chipRezQu is a family of devices and architecture for a scalable quantum computer based on superconducting phase qubits. RezQu is being developed by a team at the University of California, Santa Barbara led by John Martinis and Andrew Cleland. The team described their work at the American Physical Society meeting held on March 2011.

The 6cm-by-6cm chip holds nine quantum devices, among them four “quantum bits” that do the calculations. The team said further scaling up to 10 qubits should be possible this year. The team’s key innovation was to find a way to completely disconnect – or “decouple” – interactions between the elements of their quantum circuit. The delicate quantum states that they create must be manipulated, moved, and stored without destroying them. “It’s a problem I’ve been thinking about for three or four years now, how to turn off the interactions,” told John Martinis. “Now we’ve solved it, and that’s great – but there’s many other things we have to do.”

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A force that guides the electrons is revealed

A team of researchers led by Professor Louis Taillefer from Université de Sherbrooke, has solved a 10 years long mystery on the behavior of electrons in superconducting materials at high temperatures. In the pseudogap phase, electrons are orientated spontaneously in a preferred direction. This fundamental discovery, published in the Nature journal, removes a major obstacle to the development of superconducting materials.

Superconductors are materials that conduct electricity without resistance. They are extremely promising in terms of technology, particularly for the transport of energy, maglev trains, magnetic medical imaging, wireless communications, quantum computing and many other applications.

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