Upside Today: Computing’s Holy Grail (12/12/98)
It was headline news. Back in April 1994, led by computer scientist Arjen Lenstra, 600 technojockeys in 24 countries teamed to take on a 17-year-old challenge: factoring the 129-digit key to an “unbreakable” public key encryption program. By figuring out which two prime numbers would produce the unique 129-digit key when multiplied together, the team was able to decode the message.
Physics News Update – The American Institude of Physics Bulletin of Physics News: Quantum Error Correction (9/3/98)
Quantum Error Correction has been experimentally demonstrated for the first time, greatly advancing the promise of carrying out interesting calculations with quantum computers. Skeptics have maintained that quantum computers would crash before carrying ou t a useful calculation since the devices rely on fragile, easily corrupted quantum states.
American Scientist: The Square Root of NOT (6/1/98)
Digital computers are built out of circuits that have definite, discrete states: on or off, zero or one, high voltage or low voltage. Engineers go to great lengths to make sure these circuits never settle into some intermediate condition. Quantum-mechanic al systems, as it happens, offer a guarantee of discreteness without any engineering effort at all. When you measure the spin orientation of an electron, for example, it is always either “up” or “down,” never in between. Likewise an atom gains or loses en ergy by making a “quantum jump” between specific energy states, without passing through intermediate energy levels. So why not build a digital computer out of quantum-mechanical devices, letting particle spins or the energy levels of atoms stand for binar y units of information?
Scientific American: Quantum Computing with Molecules (6/1/98)
By taking advantage of nuclear magnetic resonance, scientists can coax the molecules in some ordinary liquids to serve as an extraordinary type of computer.
TechWeb: Quantum computing takes practical leap (5/4/98)
A research project in quantum computing has broken new ground by setting up a quantum computer, loading data and reading out a result for the first time. The project demonstrated not only that a solution of chloroform molecules could implement Grover’s al gorithm for high-speed searches but also that a quantum computer could be used at normal temperatures.
SJ Mercury News: Breakthrough Made on New Era of Computing (4/27/98)
A team of researchers that includes scientists from IBM’s Almaden Valley Research Center and the Bay Area’s two top universities have turned molecules of chloroform into the world’s first quantum computer.
Wired: A Quantum Step Closer to Elusive Computer (3/20/98)
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory believe they are just a few years away from reaching an elusive goal in computing developing a working quantum computer.
SJ Mercury News: Prototype Transistors Offers Huge Potential (1/17/98)
Computing power has grown explosively during the past few decades, but the basic function of the minuscule devices doing the calculating has changed little. Until now.
Sandia National Laboratories: Not Science Fiction Any More (1/11/98)
Improvements in the transistor of the future may not rely on decreasing its size but rather on a radical change in operation made possible by a quantum mechanical transistor created at Sandia National Laboratories.