A Diamond Quantum Bit Holds Data for Nearly Two Seconds at Room Temperature

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 14:30 in Physics & Chemistry

Working Quantum Bits from Diamonds Mikhail Lukin (from left), Georg Kucsko, and Christian Latta have created a qubit from lab-grown diamonds that maintains coherence for up to two seconds--a very long time in qubit terms. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer via Science Daily To build a quantum computer, scientists first have to build a working qubit, or quantum bit, that is both controllable and measurable (something that, for few very quantum reasons, is fairly challenging). But a group of Harvard physicists have overcome some key obstacles to turn the impurities in lab-grown diamonds into quantum bits capable of holding information at room temperature for nearly two seconds--an eternity in quantum coherence times. Most quantum computing systems under development now--we wrote about a few of them recently--rely on complex systems that trap ions with lasers or create "artificial atoms" in the lab and then cool them down to near absolute zero. It's hard, resource-intensive...

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