Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quantum computers, RSN?

Graphene seems to be the new favourite material - it's cropping up everywhere, the way that fullerenes were a few years ago, and recently SWCNTs in particular. Just lately, it's specifically graphene.

At the same time, quantum computers have a number of serious technical hurdles to deal with.

Well, as highlighted at the physics arXiv blog, in a recent paper at arXiv, "Z"-shaped pieces of graphene nanoribbon are being suggested as a solution to several of those issues. Specifically, you need to have things that don't readily interact with the environment, yet can be manipulated and can interact with each other; electrons are problematic because they interact with the environment (which is why a fair bit of quantum computing focus has been on photons - but they have their own problems). The "corners" in the graphene Z's are where the action happens - the electons are "stored", not interacting with the environment, but where their spins can interact with each other.

The authors say: “Due to recent achievement in production of graphene nanoribbon, this proposal may be implementable within the present techniques.”

You won't see quantum laptops in stores for next Christmas. But instead of "decades" we're maybe now looking at a few years for something on a lab bench, and maybe getting closer to a decade for practical devices, and perhaps another 5 years after that for consumer products. Maybe.

But Vista will still suck on them.

1 comment:

Dana Hunter said...

You just had to bring up the ugly spectre of Microsoft doing the operating system for super-advanced computers, didn't you? Makes me want to cry, that does.