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Advances in quantum computing [Registered]

A new laser-beam steering system that aims and focuses bursts of light onto single atoms for use in quantum computers has been demonstrated by collaborating researchers from Duke University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Described in the journal Applied Physics Letters (2010, 97 (13)), the new system is somewhat like the laser-light-show projectors used at rock concerts and planetariums. But it’s much smaller, faster, atom-scale accurate and aimed at the future of computing, not entertainment. In theory, quantum computers will be able to solve very complex and important problems if their basic elements, called qubits, remain in a special “quantum…

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