Tag Archives: quantum computers

Quantum computers with photons

The idea behind quantum computing has been around for almost half a century, but getting to a point where quantum effects can be created experimentally has taken a long time.

Now that materials physics and photonics have caught up, the race is on to devise and construct a quantum device that can out-compute today’s solid-state silicon supercomputers.

And Swinburne is leading the way with the use of photons.

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Protecting phones, robots and governments—partners in cybersecurity

Your smartphone’s Wi-Fi connections are fast and reliable thanks to the work of Australian astronomers in the 1990s.

Today, your phone is also being protected from cyberattacks by Australian software that works within the kernel of the phone’s operating system to protect it from hacking and software faults. The kernel is the most fundamental part of an operating system. It acts between the hardware and the applications.

Now Australian researchers are working to secure America’s growing fleets of autonomous machines, with ‘microkernel’ software known as seL4.

The new software is built on the work of researchers at the University of New South Wales and National ICT Australia (now CSIRO’s Data61 Group).

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Shedding ‘spooky’ light on unbreakable security

‘Perfect entanglement’ of two light beams has opened a major step towards highly secure quantum communication systems.

The University of Queensland’s Professor Tim Ralph and his colleagues from Canada and Russia have developed a technique to restore entangled light beams that have been distributed between distant points.

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Build it and they will come – chip design creates computer blueprint

The design of a 3D silicon chip architecture clears another hurdle in the international race to build quantum computers.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have designed a chip based on single atom quantum bits, creating a blueprint for building a large-scale silicon quantum computer.

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A path to large-scale manufacturing

The development of a two-quantum bit (qubit) logic gate in silicon heralds the possibility of moving quantum computers from experimental lab to large-scale manufacture much faster than other global research efforts.

Andrew (right) and his colleague Dr Menno Veldhorst in the UNSW laboratory. Credit: Paul Henderson-Kelly/University of New South Wales
Andrew (right) and his colleague Dr Menno Veldhorst in the UNSW laboratory.
Credit: Paul Henderson-Kelly/University of New South Wales

Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak and his team have created a two-qubit gate – a critical component, which allows qubits to talk to each other and will form the basis for a quantum computer chip.

It’s an advance that the UK’s premier physics magazine, Physics World, declared one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2015.

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Towards the first quantum computer – in silicon

Across the world, the race is on to develop the first quantum computer and an Australia research centre is at the front of the pack.

The Australian Government, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have recently recognised the pole position of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) by investing $46 million towards a targeted goal of realising a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit in silicon within the next five years.

In this feature we explore some of the Centre’s advances in quantum information research.

For more information:
Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
Tony Raeside
tony.raeside@unsw.edu.au

From little things, big things grow

Michelle Simmons’ work building silicon atomic-scale devices is paving the way towards a quantum computer with the capacity to process information exponentially faster than current computers.

She is also Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, acknowledged to be a world-leader in the field of quantum computing—which uses the spin, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons or atomic nuclei to represent data.

Michelle Simmons is one of only 11 Australians elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Credit: UNSW
Michelle Simmons is one of only 11 Australians elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Credit: UNSW

In the past five years, Michelle’s research group and collaborators have made a number of notable advances. They have fabricated the world’s first single-atom transistor in single-crystal silicon, and the world’s narrowest conducting wires, also in silicon, just four atoms wide and one atom tall with the current-carrying capacity of copper.

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Andrea Morello: Quantum computing becomes more than just spin

People have speculated about the potential of quantum computers for decades—how they would make child’s play of constructing and testing new drugs, searching through huge amounts of data and ensuring security of information.

Andrea Morello. Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/Bearcage

This scenario may be coming true in a high-tech basement at the University of New South Wales.

Continue reading Andrea Morello: Quantum computing becomes more than just spin

Computing with a single electron

Australian engineers and physicists have developed a ‘single electron reader’, one of the key building blocks needed to make a quantum computer.

Computing with a single electron
Andrew Dzurak (left), Andrea Morello and their colleagues have read the spin of a single electron. Credit: UNSW
Quantum computers will use the spin, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons for their calculations. And, because of the quantum nature of electrons, quantum computers could be exponentially faster at certain tasks than traditional computers.

In order to employ electron spin, a quantum computer needs both a way of changing the spin state (writing information) and of measuring that change (reading information). Together these two form a quantum bit or qubit – the equivalent of the bit in a conventional computer.
Continue reading Computing with a single electron