This Quantum Computer Uses Just Five Atoms
Cernescu Andrei / 3 years ago
Supercomputers are relatively good at figuring out the factors of very large numbers, but in order to discover all the possible multipliers, such a machine could require months if not years. However, there are some ways to speed up this process significantly, with the most obvious solution being quantum computers, as they operate differently when compared to their digital counterparts. A team of MIT researchers has recently built a very impressive quantum computer that is able to discover number factors using just five atoms. So how does this special quantum computer work? Well, it looks like four of the aforementioned atoms are transformed into logic gates using laser pulses that place them in superpositions. This means that they can maintain two different energy states at the same time.
The fifth atom is tasked with storing and delivering answers, and thus the entire system is able to calculate solutions in a much more efficient manner when compared to similar quantum machines. The best part is that this quantum computer can scale easily because the user needs only to introduce more atoms in order to obtain the factors for larger numbers. At the time of writing, the quantum computer developed by the MIT researchers can only obtain factors for the number 15, but it just goes to show what a much more powerful machine could actually do. For example, it could render any form of encryption based on factoring obsolete, which means that hackers or government agencies could crack codes that are currently almost impossible to crack.