Physicists Reveal New Understanding of Quantum Mechanics in Circuits


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Quantum Computing

Although quantum computers will inevitably rely on qubits, exactly how these machines of the future will be built is still being determined.

“It’s an exciting time, because although superconducting qubits are currently the leading technology in the race to build a quantum computer, we’re not sure which technology will win the race” says Sauls. “What we do know is that quantum computing will have a significant impact on the world, in areas ranging from national security to drug development.”

Because of its ability to crunch data, quantum algorithms would allow users to complete in a day what today may take 1,000 years — breaking down an integer with 400 digits into prime factors, cracking state-of-the-art encryption methods, or screening a broad array of chemical compounds and their interactions, for example.

“It’s more than just data crunching because there’s parallelism built directly into the quantum computer” says Koch. “It’s not zero or 1, spin up or down; it’s all of it at the same time. Quantum computers essentially harness this massive parallelism for new ways of solving difficult problems, and that’s an attribute likely to impact every aspect of our lives.”

CAPST and INQUIRE are part of Northwestern’s robust ecosystem of University Research Institutes and Centers, some 50 interdisciplinary knowledge hubs that harness talent from across all areas of the institution.

By Roger Anderson

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