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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:11PM (#25501681)

    Let me see if I get this straight. Somehow you store a qbit which is both 0 and 1. Then you try to retrieve it. Problem is, as soon as you do so, it collapses to either 0 or 1. So how do you know that what you stored is what you got back? The more I think about quantum computing, the more I think it's pure BS. Sorry.

  • How is this new? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalderbs ( 718388 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:38PM (#25501981)
    I haven't had time to read the nature article quite yet, but it would appear that magnetic moment coherence information is transfered from electrons, which decohere quickly, to nuclei, which decohere much more slowly. Magnetic moments on nuclei in the solid-state and in the absence of local motions can maintain coherences for minutes to hours -- this is not surprising. However, I can't tell from this summary how this is different from DNP [], a well established method. Maybe because it was done in silicon?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982