News of the WeekULTRAFAST LASERS

Lighting the Way to a Quantum Computer

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Science  29 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5526, pp. 2412-2413
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5526.2412

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Summary

Researchers have taken a small step toward creating a machine that can carry out in seconds calculations that would take eons on even the most sophisticated supercomputer. On page 2458, they report using a trio of vanishingly brief laser pulses to tweak bits of quantum data in as little as 100 quadrillionths of a second. The group hasn't demonstrated any computation power yet, but experts call the work a very important milestone in quantum computing.