A group of Harvard scientists, led by Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and including graduate students Georg Kucsko and Peter Maurer and postdoctoral researcher Christian Latta, say they have cracked the code regarding the cooling of quantum computers.
And they did it by turning to one of the purest materials on Earth: diamonds.
Using a pair of impurities in ultra-pure, laboratory-grown diamonds, the researchers announced earlier this week that preliminary results reveal the ability to create quantum bits and store information in them for nearly two seconds — an increase of nearly six magnitudes, say the scientists. The work, described in the June 8 issue of Science, is a critical first step in the eventual construction of a functional quantum computer that could one day allow for advanced computations.
“What we’ve been able to achieve in terms of control is quite unprecedented,” Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin said. “We have a qubit, at room temperature, that we can measure with very high efficiency and fidelity. We can encode data in it, and we can store it for a relatively long time. We believe this work is limited only by technical issues, so it looks feasible to increase the life span into the range of hours. At that point, a host of real-world applications become possible.”