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Fredkin Gate Breakthrough Overcomes Obstacle In Quantum Computing

28 March 2016, 8:29 am EDT By Rhodi Lee Tech Times
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Preparing for a quantum future: An inside look at groundbreaking research in Singapore

Governments, corporations and scientists look forward to the development of a working quantum computer for a range of purposes such as from cracking passwords to predicting weather events.

Building such a powerful computer, however, is currently hampered by a range of obstacles that scientists have yet to overcome.

One of these obstacles is the need to reduce the number of resources required to efficiently implement processing circuits. A new breakthrough with a new circuit though may bring quantum computing closer to reality.

Researchers from Australia have developed a computer chip that can overcome one of the main obstacles that hamper the development of quantum computers.

The quantum Fredkin gate, as it is called, used to be very complex to build but the researchers finally found a means to simply the process by making quantum logic gates, the building blocks of quantum computing, bigger.

Raj Patel, from Griffith's Centre for Quantum Dynamics explained that just like building a large wall with small bricks, large quantum circuits would need many logical gates for to work.

"If larger bricks are used, the same wall could be built with far fewer bricks," Patel said.

The researchers said that the method could hopefully make the creation of quantum computer more possible and unlock the potentials that come with advanced computers.

Patel said that they managed to build larger quantum circuits in a more direct manner sans the need for small logic gates.

Small and medium scale quantum computers cannot be produced at the moment because of the need to integrate many of these gates into the circuits. The Fredkin gate, for instance, where two quantum bits are swapped or changed depending on a third value, is only a part of a quantum computer circuit.

Building one Fredkin gate needs five logic operations. Once the necessary amount of Fredkin gates is added, the circuit will have far too many components for the circuit to be made.

Using particles of light, the researchers were able to construct Fredkin gates with simplified number of required logic operations.

"The technique we use allows one to add a control operation to a black-box unitary, something that is impossible in the standard circuit model," the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in Science Advances on March 25.

"Our experiment represents the first use of this technique to control a two-qubit operation and paves the way for larger controlled circuits to be realized efficiently."

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