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When the quantum computer was imagined 30 years ago, it was revered for its potential to quickly and accurately complete practical tasks often considered impossible for mere humans and for conventional computers. But, there was one big catch: Tiny-scale quantum effects fall apart too easily to be practical for reliably powering computers.
Now, a team of scientists in Japan may have overcome this obstacle. Using laser light, they have developed a precise, continuous control technology giving 60 times more success than previous efforts in sustaining the lifetime of "qubits," the unit that quantum computers encode. In particular, the researchers have shown that they can continue to create a quantum behavior known as the entangled state—entangling more than one million different physical systems, a world record that was only limited in their investigation by data storage space.
This feat is important because entangled quantum particles, such as atoms, electrons and photons, are a resource of quantum information processing created by the behaviors that emerge at the tiny quantum scale. Harnessing them ushers in a new era of information technology. From such behaviors as superposition and entanglement, quantum particles can perform enormous calculations simultaneously. The report of their investigation appears this week in the journal APL Photonics.
Phys.org: Quantum computing advances with control of entanglement