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Quantum computing becomes more than just spin

The building blocks of a quantum computer have been created and tested in a high tech basement at the University of NSW, and within a few years Andrea Morello and his colleagues expect to have a small working prototype.

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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 that information was fundamentally secure.

But it all seemed like science fiction. No-one really knew how to build one, despite lots of clever ideas for using exotic materials and light. But 15 years of work at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology and its predecessors have changed everything. The building blocks of a quantum computer have been created and tested in a high tech basement at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). And within a few years Andrea Morello and his colleagues expect to have a small working prototype.

What’s more, the device will be constructed out of the same base material used to build classical computers—silicon, that inexpensive, abundant material which a trillion-dollar global industry is already equipped to handle and manipulate. This should make gearing up to produce quantum computers relatively seamless, and gives Australia a solid lead in one of the game-changing technologies of the 21st century.

For his intellectual leadership in developing the silicon components to make quantum computing possible, Associate Professor Andrea Morello has been awarded the...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.