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UK Scientists Make Step Toward Quantum Computer—Humankind Inches Closer To Infinite Computing

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HAL 9000

HAL 9000 would bow to the feet of a quantum computer.

Nature reports that Scientists in the UK have found a way to use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to work as switches in a possible quantum computing system.

A true quantum computer could have infinite computational abilities—or at least be exponentially more powerful than today’s computers.

Mark Stevenson and his team at Toshiba Research Europe in Cambridge, England, found a way to trap photons using LEDs. Photons are subatomic particles that compose light. By trapping them, engineers could control on a sub-atomic scale the traditional on-off switch of a computer. The quantum nature of the photon means that a computer using this method could potentially explore all possible computational and decision paths simultaneously.

Could this discovery be the start of Kurzweil’s singularity event?

From the article:

When the researchers supply the LED with electric current, two electrons hop into two positively charged ‘holes’ in the quantum dot’s lattice, releasing energy in the form of a photon pair. Crucially, the nature of this process means that the polarization of one generated photon is determined by the other, so the pair is entangled.

There is a catch to Stevenson’s current method, however. Only one in 100 diodes actually entangle the light, and the whole system only works at temperatures of 5 kelvin (or -268 Celsius).

That’s a wee bit colder the liquid cooling system in your new MacBook.

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