Quantum computing may still sound like the stuff of science fiction, but within the next 10 years, it could be a reality.
"Systems are still pretty rudimentary," said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT. "Though they perform some specific kinds of calculations faster than traditional computers, they are defined by their limitations. When true, fully operable quantum systems come online, they will force the IT industry, public and private sector organizations and individuals to fundamentally rethink certain kinds of problems and all but abandon some conventional solutions."
Taking steps toward making those possibilities real are researchers at the University of Calgary, who last year successfully teleported a photon, a particle of light, over the span of just over 3.5 miles in a straight length of fiber optic cable.
The effort, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, set a world record for distance in quantum teleportation. It could also be a step toward more secure communications in the future.
This kind of network would enable secure communication without concerns about eavesdropping, and would allow distant quantum computers to connect, according to Wolfgang Tittel, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary.
Meanwhile, IBM Research has made its quantum processor available to the public via IBM's cloud to any desktop or mobile device. The IBM Quantum Experience, is designed to let researchers use individual quantum bits to run algorithms and experiments on IBM's quantum processor. IBM is offering the use for free.
“The IBM Quantum Experience will make it easier for researchers and the scientific community to accelerate innovations in the quantum field, and help discover new applications for this technology," said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research.
IBM's quantum processor is housed at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York.
Stories in this package are:
* Teleporting a photon leads researchers to quantum security
* IBM makes quantum computing available in the cloud
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