A Layer of Super-Cooled Beryllium Ions Can Act as a Quantum System Simulator Britton/NIST In a case that's somewhat chicken-and-egg, one of the many reasons computer scientists and physicists are pursuing a working quantum computer is to model quantum systems themselves. Modeling some quantum properties for systems even with a just a few dozen particles is impossible on even the biggest conventional supercomputers, and the pursuit of new materials and next-level science requires that we find a way to do so. So it's notable that physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have constructed a quantum simulator can simulate interaction between hundreds of quantum bits. This isn't the holy grail of quantum computing by any means, but it's an exciting step forward. The NIST simulator is basically a single layer of beryllium ions, hundreds of them stretching across a circular plane less than one millimeter in diameter hovering...
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