Physicists Create a Wormhole Using a Quantum Computer

Researchers were able to send a signal through the open wormhole, though it’s not clear in what sense the wormhole can be said to exist.Credit: Kim Taylor/Quanta Magazine

Physicists have purportedly created the first-ever wormhole, a kind of tunnel theorized in 1935 by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen that leads from one place to another by passing into an extra dimension of space.

The wormhole emerged like a hologram out of quantum bits of information, or “qubits,” stored in tiny superconducting circuits. By manipulating the qubits, the physicists then sent information through the wormhole, they reported today in the journal Nature.

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The unimon, a new qubit to boost quantum computers for useful applications

Artistic impression of a unimon qubit in a quantum processor.

A group of scientists from Aalto University, IQM Quantum Computers, and VTT Technical Research Center have discovered a new superconducting qubit, the unimon, to increase the accuracy of quantum computations. The team has achieved the first quantum logic gates with unimons at 99.9% fidelity—a major milestone on the quest to build commercially useful quantum computers. This research was just published in the journal Nature Communications.

Of all the different approaches to build useful quantum computers, superconducting qubits are in the lead. However, the qubit designs and techniques currently used do not yet provide high enough performance for practical applications. In this noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) era, the complexity of the implementable quantum computations is mostly limited by errors in single- and two-qubit quantum gates. The quantum computations need to become more accurate to be useful. 

“Our aim is to build quantum computers which deliver an advantage in solving real-world problems. Our announcement today is an important milestone for IQM, and a significant achievement to build better superconducting quantum computers,” said Professor Mikko Möttönen, joint Professor of Quantum Technology at Aalto University and VTT, and also a Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at IQM Quantum Computers, who was leading the research.

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A new shortcut for quantum simulations could unlock new doors for technology

Two of the “maps” of quantum phase transitions generated by the technique. The different colors represent different phases or transitions between different phases.

By Louise Lerner

From water boiling into steam to ice cubes melting in a glass, we’ve all seen the phenomenon known as a phase transition in our everyday lives. But there’s another type of phase transition that’s much harder to see, but just as stark: quantum phase transitions.

When cooled to near absolute zero, certain materials can undergo these quantum phase transitions, which can make a physicist’s jaw drop. The material can flip from being magnetic to non-magnetic, or it can suddenly acquire the superpower to conduct electricity with zero energy lost as heat.

The mathematics behind these transitions is tough to handle even for supercomputers—but a new Physical Review A study from the University of Chicago suggests a new way to work with these complicated calculations, which could eventually yield technological breakthroughs. The shortcut pulls only the most important information into the equation, and creates a “map” of all possible phase transitions in the system being simulated.

“This is a potentially powerful way of looking at quantum phase transitions that can be used with either traditional or quantum computers,” said David Mazziotti, a theoretical chemist with the Department of Chemistry and the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study.

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China’s new quantum satellite now operational

File illustration of the Chinese satellite Micius.

A Chinese micro-nano quantum satellite has entered its planned orbit and is now operational, the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), one of its developers, said on Thursday.

The low-orbit satellite was designed to conduct real-time quantum key distribution experiments between the satellite and ground station, and to carry out technical verification. It was launched atop a Lijian-1 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Wednesday.

The new micro-nano satellite’s weight is about one-sixth the weight of the world’s first quantum satellite, the Chinese satellite Micius, which weighs more than 600 kilograms, according to the USTC.

The university said that, based on the quantum technology first seen in Micius, it is clear that more low-cost quantum satellites are needed to realize an efficient, practical and global quantum communication network that can meet the increasing user demand.

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Scientists create quantum computer that breaks free of binary system

By Andrew Griffin

Scientists have made a quantum computer that breaks free from the binary system.

Computers as we know them today rely on binary information: they operate in ones and zeroes, storing more complex information in “bits” that are either off or on. That seemingly simple system is at the heart of every computer we use.

Quantum computers have taken on that same system. They use qubits, which replicate the bits of a classical computer but using quantum technology.

But they are built with more than just those ones and zeroes. Quantum computers are not necessarily restricted to binary, and scientists hope that breaking them are from that system can add extra complexity without using more quantum particles.

Now scientists say they have succeeded in building a quantum computer that works in that way. It can do calculations not with qubits but instead with qudits – quantum digits that could allow for vastly more computing power.

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Physicists Create City-Sized Ultrasecure Quantum Network

By Sierra Mitchell

Quantum cryptography promises a future in which computers communicate with one another over ultrasecure links using the razzle-dazzle of quantum physics. But scaling up the breakthroughs in research labs to networks with a large number of nodes has proved difficult. Now an international team of researchers has built a scalable city-wide quantum network to share keys for encrypting messages.

The network can grow in size without incurring an unreasonable escalation in the costs of expensive quantum hardware. Also, this system does not require any node to be trustworthy, thus removing any security-sapping weak links.

“We have tested it both in the laboratory and in deployed fibers across the city of Bristol” in England, says Siddarth Koduru Joshi of the University of Bristol. He and his colleagues demonstrated their ideas using a quantum network with eight nodes in which the most distant nodes were 17 kilometers apart, as measured by the length of the optical fiber connecting them. The team’s findings appeared in Science Advances on September 2.

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Photonic Link Could Spark an All-Silicon Quantum Internet, Scalable Quantum Devices


UNIVERSITY RESEARCH NEWS — Researchers at the Simon Fraser University report on research, published in Nature today, that they say could pave the way toward an all-silicon quantum internet and quantum computers that can tackle real-world computational challenges. That internet theoretically will be much more secure and much more powerful than today’s version.

In the study, the scientists describe their observations of silicon ‘T centre’ photon-spin qubits, an important milestone that unlocks immediate opportunities to construct massively scalable quantum computers and the quantum internet that will connect them.

Quantum computing has enormous potential to provide computing power well beyond the capabilities of today’s supercomputers, which could enable advances in many other fields, including chemistry, materials science, medicine and cybersecurity. In order to make this a reality, it is necessary to produce both stable, long-lived qubits that provide processing power, as well as the communications technology that enables these qubits to link together at scale.

Past research has indicated that silicon can produce some of the most stable and long-lived qubits in the industry. Now the research published by Daniel Higginbottom, Alex Kurkjian, and co-authors provides proof of principle that T centres, a specific luminescent defect in silicon, can provide a ‘photonic link’ between qubits.

This comes out of the SFU Silicon Quantum Technology Lab in SFU’s Physics Department, co-led by Stephanie Simmons, Canada Research Chair in Silicon Quantum Technologies and Michael Thewalt, Professor Emeritus.  “This work is the first measurement of single T centres in isolation, and actually, the first measurement of any single spin in silicon to be performed with only optical measurements,” says Stephanie Simmons.

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Breakthrough in Silicon Qubits, Photonics Accelerates Quantum Internet

Reusing existing fiber optic infrastructure is (almost) as big a deal as it gets.

By Francisco Pires

A render for a single T centre qubit in the silicon lattice, which supports the first single spin to ever be optically observed in silicon. The constituents of the T centre (two carbon atoms and a hydrogen atom) are shown as orange, and the optically-addressable electron spin is in shining pale blue. (Image credit: Photonics)

Researchers from Simon Fraser University may have just released the photonic springs that accelerate the quantum internet. In a paper published in Nature, the researchers demonstrated an emergent capacity in silicon qubits to produce a “photonic link” between each other. Furthermore, this same photonic capability may be easily integrated with the existing fiber optic infrastructure that already carries data across a reasonable (yet still insufficient) portion of society. That is bound to provide immense savings on deploying a quantum internet – and as we all know, the cost is (mostly) king.

The authors’ paper describes observations carried on particular types of qubits: “T-center” photon-spin qubits, a kind of qubit that takes advantage of a specific luminescent defect in silicon – more specifically, InGaAs (Indium gallium arsenide), also explored in CPU manufacturing technologies. Silicon qubits have already shown remarkable coherence times – which relate to how resistant qubits are to outside interferences that would cause them to collapse and lose their information in the process, becoming unusable for the workload at hand.

And with more fantastic coherence times – and the comparative ease with which these “T center” qubits can be linked – comes the capability to perform more and more significant calculations. In their experiment, the researchers observed the effect in over 1,500 T Center qubits, ensuring they can replicate it – a healthy indicator for the potential scalability of their solution.

“This work is the first measurement of single T centers in isolation, and actually, the first measurement of any single spin in silicon to be performed with only optical measurements,” said Stephanie Simmons, Canada Research Chair in Silicon Quantum Technologies.  

“An emitter like the T center that combines high-performance spin qubits and optical photon generation is ideal to make scalable, distributed, quantum computers,” she continued, “because they can handle the processing and the communications together, rather than needing to interface two different quantum technologies, one for processing and one for communications.”

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By Frederic Lardinois

D-Wave made a name for itself with its early annealing quantum computers and even though the company recently announced its efforts to also build a superconducting gate-model quantum computer, it’s not abandoning its quantum annealing technology. Case in point: The company today made the first prototype of its next-gen Advantage2 annealing quantum computer available in its cloud. This is not the full system, which will feature 7,000 qubits when it launches in 2023 or 2024, but a small 500+ qubit version that is meant to showcase the company’s new qubit design and its Zephyr topology (PDF) with 20-way inter-qubit connectivity.

“The Advantage2 prototype is designed to share what we’re learning and gain feedback from the community as we continue to build towards the full Advantage2 system,” said Emile Hoskinson, director, Quantum Annealing Products, D-Wave. “Our current Advantage quantum computer was completely re-engineered from the ground up. With Advantage2, we’re pushing that envelope again — demonstrating that connectivity and reduction in noise will be a delivery vehicle for even greater performance once the full system is available. The Advantage2 prototype is an opportunity for us to share our excitement and give a sneak peek into the future for customers bringing quantum into their applications.”


World First Room Temperature Quantum Computer Installed in Australia

A quantum-HPC integration serving more than 4,000 researchers.

By Francisco Pires 

The world’s first on-premises, room-temperature quantum computer has just been installed in Pawsey’s Supercomputing Research Centre, in Australia. Developed by Australian start-up Quantum Brilliance, the quantum accelerator doesn’t require any exotic cooling methods to maintain quantum coherence, and has even been developed for installation in a typical rack system. The new quantum accelerator will thus be taken for a spin in tandem with Pawsey’s new, state-of-the-art Setonix, its HPE Cray Ex supercomputer.

The room-temperature achievement was unlocked due to Quantum Brilliance’s approach to quantum computing; instead of the more common ion chains, silicon quantum dots, or superconducting transmon qubits, Quantum Brilliance took advantage of specifically implanted nitrogen-vacancy centers in synthetic diamonds (where a carbon atom is replaced by a nitrogen one).

These vacancy centers amount to defects in the diamond’s structure, which feature a photoluminescence capability that allows for the qubits’ spin states to be read based on the emitted light’s characteristics, without directly interacting with the qubits. A number of techniques, such as magnetic or electric fields, microwave radiation, or light (Quantum Brilliance uses a green laser technology for this purpose) can be used to directly manipulate the nitrogen-vacancy center’s qubits. Quantum Brilliance’s qubits are described by the company as being in the “middle of the pack” for coherence times and performance, being slower than superconducting qubits, but faster than the trapped-ion approach of some other providers.

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Unveiling IonQ Forte: The First Software-Configurable Quantum Computer

Photograph of IonQ Forte (front left) in our quantum data center in College Park, MD.

Introducing IonQ Forte

Today, the IonQ team is proud to unveil our next generation quantum computer – IonQ Forte. This latest generation quantum computer (Figure 1) represents a leap forward in flexibility, precision and performance. IonQ Forte uses ytterbium ions, and integrates highly specialized acousto-optic deflectors (AODs) to direct laser beams at individual qubits in the ion chain to apply logic gates among the qubits. This approach provides unprecedented precision and stability to the laser beams contributing to both higher fidelity and reliability by minimizing noise and unintended residual light on neighboring qubits.

Compared to our previous systems, IonQ Forte decouples the qubit arrangement in space from a fixed optical addressing system, leading to higher performance, the support of more qubits, and more software-driven flexibility. In fact, our goal is to deliver quantum computers whose architecture is fully controlled through software, from the number of qubits to the entangling gates, connectivity between qubits, error correction and ultimately the entire system performance as measured by the Algorithmic Qubit (#AQ) metric.

IonQ Forte, designed with a capacity of up to 32 qubits like IonQ Aria and further expandable in software, represents a major step in that direction. Once fully characterized (tested and measured), we expect that it will demonstrate superior #AQ results and allow customers to run deeper quantum circuits than ever before. We anticipate that IonQ Forte will be made broadly available in early 2023, with earlier access expected to be provided to select developers, partners, and researchers in 2022 to work alongside IonQ’s scientists in evaluating the full potential of this powerful quantum system.

In this blog post, we will bring you into our development process for IonQ Forte, share our thinking, early results and plans for the future.

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