Monday, November 14, 2011

NOVA | A Quantum Leap in Computing

NOVA | A Quantum Leap in Computing: "How is a quantum computer different?

Think of miniaturizing a computer so that a bit is stored on an individual electron, so that a single electron over here is zero and a single electron over there is one. Now, an electron has this funny feature in quantum mechanics that it's really a wave, and this wave can be both here and there at the same time. And that means that the quantum bit that the electron represents registers both zero and one simultaneously. It also wiggles up and down a lot like a wave.
So how do you make those quantum bits into a computer?

Well, that's trickier! But nature supplies us with lots of electrons. And at bottom, nature is quantum mechanical, so all the things that we think of as particles like electrons have waves associated with them. If we"

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