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Data Storage Science Hardware

Storing Qubits In Nuclei 90

bednarz writes "Scientists have demonstrated what is being called the 'ultimate miniaturization of computer memory,' storing data for nearly two seconds in the nucleus of an atom of phosphorus. The hybrid quantum memory technique is a key step in the development of quantum computers, according to the National Science Foundation. An international team of scientists demonstrated that quantum information stored in a nucleus has a lifetime of about 1¾ seconds. 'This is significant because before this technique was developed, the longest researchers could preserve quantum information in silicon was a few tens of milliseconds. Other researchers studying quantum computing recently calculated that if a quantum system could store information for at least one second, error correction techniques could then protect that data for an indefinite period of time.'" Here's the NSF press release with pictures of the apparatus. They claim that this technique is promising because it "uses silicon technology" seems a bit of a stretch — the silicon the researchers employed was a painstakingly grown crystal of extremely high purity.
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Storing Qubits In Nuclei

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  • What is it? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by geeper ( 883542 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:23PM (#25501805)
    What is a quantum computer anyway? Why would someone want one?
  • Re:So what (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cutie Pi ( 588366 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:25PM (#25501823)

    Not only that, but it's not like the silicon used in today's chips is low grade crap. The purity standards for electronic grade silicon are pretty insane considered to the standards of most things we think of as "pure", including pharmaceuticals. (Seven to eight 9's purity is not uncommon). And yet its produced in great volumes relatively cheaply.

  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @11:58PM (#25506727)

    This could be the "ultimate miniaturization of computer memory", if not for the fact that each nucleus is wrapped in 15 electrons and about a trillion times its own volume of empty space. Unless, of course, they've found a way to contain degenerate matter and selectively polarize individual nuclei therein -- and I'm thinking compressing matter to degeneracy would tend to shorten those T1 times pretty substantially.

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