Archive for Quantum Computing

A Blueprint for a Quantum Computer

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on February 16, 2017 by telescoper

I’m a little bit late blogging about this topic, as it relates to a paper published on 1st February 2017, but it’s a pleasure to be able to draw your attention to an important paper by a group led by a former colleague of mine from the University of Sussex, Prof. Winfried Hensinger, known to his friends as “Winni”. In essence they have constructed a practical way to build a working quantum computer.

Here is the abstract of the latest paper which explains the significance of the work:

The availability of a universal quantum computer may have a fundamental impact on a vast number of research fields and on society as a whole. An increasingly large scientific and industrial community is working toward the realization of such a device. An arbitrarily large quantum computer may best be constructed using a modular approach. We present a blueprint for a trapped ion–based scalable quantum computer module, making it possible to create a scalable quantum computer architecture based on long-wavelength radiation quantum gates. The modules control all operations as stand-alone units, are constructed using silicon microfabrication techniques, and are within reach of current technology. To perform the required quantum computations, the modules make use of long-wavelength radiation–based quantum gate technology. To scale this microwave quantum computer architecture to a large size, we present a fully scalable design that makes use of ion transport between different modules, thereby allowing arbitrarily many modules to be connected to construct a large-scale device. A high error–threshold surface error correction code can be implemented in the proposed architecture to execute fault-tolerant operations. With appropriate adjustments, the proposed modules are also suitable for alternative trapped ion quantum computer architectures, such as schemes using photonic interconnects.

Here’s a short video explaining the setup

This result has generated a lot of good publicity for the group at Sussex, including a piece in the Financial Times and a personal appearance by Winni himself on Sky News.

It’s great to see the  Ion Quantum Technology group continuing to do really well and I’m sure the investments made in physics research at the University of Sussex over the last few years will bring even more exciting developments in the near future!


Quantum Technology and the Frontier of Computing

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on March 26, 2015 by telescoper

Here’s a short video I just found featuring our own Winfried Hensinger, Professor of Quantum Technologies at the University of Sussex.

It’s part of a pilot documentary that explores the connection between science fiction and science reality. Here is the official blurb:

“The science fiction genre has a history of playing with our imagination; inventing “impossible” technologies and concepts such as time travel and teleportation. The “spooky” discoveries that quantum physicists have recently made are challenging the very “impossibility” of sci-fi. This documentary will explore the ways in which sci-fi has catalysed the imagination of scientists who are pioneering these discoveries.

The theme will explore the causal link between science and science fiction, using the inner workings of the quantum computer that Dr Winfried Hensinger is currently developing as a case study. Dr Hensinger, the head of the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology research group, was inspired early on by the well known 60s science fiction television show Star Trek. Having led multiple breakthroughs in the field of Quantum Computing research, he speaks to the importance of not losing our imagination, citing his childhood desire to be the science officer on Star Trek’s Enterprise as the prime motivator of going into the scientific field. Exploring the relationship between the human beings developing this technology and the non-human genre of science fiction, we will demonstrate that the boundaries between imagination and reality are blurrier than conventionally thought.”

I’ll take the opportunity presented by this video to remind you that the University of Sussex is the only university in the UK to offer an MSc course in Quantum Technologies, and this year there are special bursaries that make this an extremely attractive  option for students seeking to extend their studies into this burgeoning new area. We’ve already seen a big surge in applications for this course this course so if you’re thinking of applying don’t wait too long or it might fill up!

Quantum Information and Quantum Computing

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by telescoper

Having a very late and very short lunch break today because I was involved in a series of meetings this morning all of which overran. That, together with the heat, has put me in a bit of a fluster. Anyway, while I drink my sandwich and eat a cup of tea, I thought I’d post this very cute video that I stumbled across via Twitter. It’s by Jorge Cham, the creator of Piled Higher and Deeper (known to the world as PhDcomics); you can find his blog post about these videos here.