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Scientists Build a Quantum Computer Inside a Diamond

By - Source: UCS | B 45 comments

When you are looking for an engagement ring, you might be focusing on diamond that have few imperfections and inclusions (besides size, of course), which make it less attractive as a jewelry item.

However, in quantum computing these imperfections have been found to deliver a huge benefit. Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) said that were able to build a quantum computer system within a diamond that leveraged imperfections. The spin of a rogue nitrogen nucleus was employed as on qubit and the spin of an electron in another flaw was used as a second qubit.

In contrast to typical quantum computing experiments that may take place in liquid or gas, the diamond-based environment protects quantum computing operations from decoherence, or loss of information caused by influencing factors described as noise. According to the researchers, solid-state quantum computing systems have been built before, but they claim their invention is the first system that uses decoherence protection and "microwave pulses to continually switch the direction of the electron spin rotation."

The research appears to be just an experiment at this time and while it was proven to work in a quantum computing fashion by matching Grover's Algorithm at a rate of about 95 percent, it is not in any proximity of a prototype computing device. Needless to say, there was no information on a commercial feasibility of the idea to build and scale a quantum computing system in diamonds.

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Top Comments
  • 42 Hide
    werewolfyman , April 6, 2012 1:45 PM
    Yeah, but can your proposal run Crysis?
  • 40 Hide
    Onus , April 6, 2012 1:58 PM
    A much better title would have been "Scientists Test the Quantum Computing Characteristics of a Diamond."
  • 19 Hide
    CaedenV , April 6, 2012 2:18 PM
    *sigh* Tom's, you are all slipping up in the grammar department again. Just how hard it is to run your article through word first and see if there are any glaring mistakes?
Other Comments
    Display all 45 comments.
  • 42 Hide
    werewolfyman , April 6, 2012 1:45 PM
    Yeah, but can your proposal run Crysis?
  • 40 Hide
    Onus , April 6, 2012 1:58 PM
    A much better title would have been "Scientists Test the Quantum Computing Characteristics of a Diamond."
  • 10 Hide
    A Bad Day , April 6, 2012 1:59 PM
    Hopefully diamond to silicon is like transistor to vacuum tube.
  • 10 Hide
    xurwin , April 6, 2012 2:07 PM
    wow, now that's what we can call the most expensive diamond
  • -4 Hide
    friskiest , April 6, 2012 2:08 PM
    Would these work on bort diamonds?
  • 19 Hide
    CaedenV , April 6, 2012 2:18 PM
    *sigh* Tom's, you are all slipping up in the grammar department again. Just how hard it is to run your article through word first and see if there are any glaring mistakes?
  • 18 Hide
    drwho1 , April 6, 2012 2:30 PM
    On other news: Graphic cards may soon start using diamonds as they are known to resist very high temperatures. As for price, we are told "not to worry", they will be available in exchange for a few internal organs.
  • 16 Hide
    willard , April 6, 2012 2:49 PM
    werewolfymanYeah, but can your proposal run Crysis?

    Kudos for making the first funny Crysis joke in years.
  • 9 Hide
    TeraMedia , April 6, 2012 2:59 PM
    @caedenv: As your own post exemplifies, Word doesn't catch every grammar mistake... Cheers.
  • 9 Hide
    Achoo22 , April 6, 2012 3:05 PM
    In related news, De Beers Diamond Co. is throwing the biggest party of the century.
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , April 6, 2012 3:16 PM
    May I propose a new slogan : "Diamonds area an IT Geeks best friend" :-)

  • 4 Hide
    lemlo , April 6, 2012 3:31 PM
    How am I gonna mount my NHD-14 to this diamond? Does this overclock well? Can the microwaves nuke my hungry man meal? All legit questions...
  • 11 Hide
    alchemy69 , April 6, 2012 4:05 PM
    So putting two transistors in a box is building a computer, is it?
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , April 6, 2012 4:33 PM
    The first quantum computer will make all existing encryption trivial to break. I wonder who will get it first...
  • 7 Hide
    obsama1 , April 6, 2012 4:39 PM
    But can it run Tetris?
  • 5 Hide
    deksman , April 6, 2012 5:04 PM
    What's with the (very bad) jokes?

    As for diamonds... lol... let's see... we first made a man-made diamond back in 1950.
    In the following 10 years (up to 1960's) they could have fully incorporated chip production via man-made diamonds.

    And yes, they were viable for such use back then and could have been produced in mass quantities cheaply with good enough quality to be used for computers (this is even more-so possible today)

    So effectively, we could have had diamond based computer chips for decades and technology that far surpasses current one in terms of power/efficiency and thermal output.
    Actually, it's very likely the technology itself was made, never released into commercial production though.

    One of the reasons why man-made diamonds were never put into mass production is due to the single cartel that holds the diamond market in it's proverbial grasp and effectively controls it, giving it means to charge insane prices.

    That said, even if they are put in mass production, from a resource/technological/manpower point of view, production is cheap and more than doable in practically record time (has been for some time now), but still, as it's with any new product, it will probably cost A LOT because manufacturers love to overcharge for new technologies, even if they themselves spent a fraction on it.

    On top of that, Graphene as a material was placed as public knowledge over 12 years ago.
    Had they wanted to implement it in practical use, it would have taken them 2 years tops.

    And if they made a combination of graphene/diamond chips... lol...

    Seriously folks... consumer based technology is toying in obscurity for decades, but hey, the market is in no hurry to implement new technologies as soon as they are discovered because that would probably put a large dent into profits (merely because people would not be enticed to upgrade anytime soon).

    What we have now in circulation is laughably outdated.
    But hey... we live in a capitalist world... well-being of mankind is not the goal of such a system because money and profits are (everything else is a proverbial side-effect).

    Quantum computers?
    They should have been in circulation by now.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2012 5:21 PM
    +1 on the Crysis joke. Somehow the movie Zardoz came to mind while reading this article....
  • -5 Hide
    tomaz99 , April 6, 2012 5:39 PM
    friskiestWould these work on bort diamonds?


    heh...you're at a -2

    How dare you mention Bort Diamonds! My family was killed by Bort Diamonds!
  • -2 Hide
    dreadlokz , April 6, 2012 9:13 PM
    I just hope that in 50 years or less we have quantum supercomputers, and everything else in the cloud =)
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