Scientists told about the secrets of the first 51-kubango computer

© Serious sasamail Lukin, Professor at Harvard and co-founder of the Russian quantum centerScientists told about the secrets of the first 51-kubango computer© Serious science

. Physicists from MIT and Russia revealed the principles of the world’s first 51-kubango quantum computer, which Mikhail Lukin announced in July this year at the conference ICQT-2017 in Moscow, said in an article published in the journal Nature.

«These machines can be used not only for science but also for solving optimization problems. It seems that we can solve very complex problems by controlling the position of atoms and how they interact with each other. It is not clear whether such quantum algorithms faster than their classical competitors, but now we are very close to their test in practice using a quantum system containing hundreds of qubits. This is all very interesting and for science,» says Lukin.

Quantum computers represent a particular computing device, whose power is growing exponentially due to the use of the laws of quantum mechanics in their work. All such devices are composed of qubits of memory cells and at the same time primitive computational modules able to store a range of values between zero and one.

Today there are two basic approaches to the development of such devices — classical and adiabatic. Supporters of the first are trying to create a universal quantum computer, the qubits which would be subject to the rules, which are conventional digital devices.

Work with similar computing device, ideally, will not be much different from how engineers and programmers run by conventional computers. Adiabatic computer easier to create, but it is closer to the principles of their work to analog computers the beginning of the XX century, not to the digital technology of today.

Last year several teams of scientists and engineers from U.S., Australia and several European countries have declared that they are close to developing a similar machine. The leader in this informal race was considered the team of John Martinis of Google developing an unusual «hybrid» version of the universal quantum computer, combining elements of analog and digital approach to such calculations.

The role of qubits in this case are of particular particles, which physicists call the «Rydberg atoms». They represent the atoms of rubidium-87 or other alkali metals, whose free electron was «pushed» at a great distance from the nucleus with the help of a special laser or radio-wave pulses. Due to this, the size of the atom increases about a million times.

Such «atoms» are much easier to manipulate than their normal «cousins», and they have one extremely useful property for quantum computers – they repel each other and interact with each other at very large distances.

This allowed Lukin and his team transform a set of several dozens of such «atoms» in the adiabatic quantum computer, qubits which scientists can control their firing another laser.

This computer, as well as other analog quantum machine works «by itself» without interference from the scientists, through quantum interactions of Rydberg atoms which occur after the physics temporarily disable the lasers, holding them in place during the «setting» of your computer.

The first experiments with this solver, as told Lukin summer in Moscow has already allowed physicists to reveal some interesting quantum effects, the existence of which scientists had not suspected. Lukin and his colleagues hope that the creation of more complex machines, consisting of hundreds of qubits will reveal their nature and to understand whether the use of such analog computers for solving serious practical problems.