New South Wales (AUS) — Scientists have successfully tested a quantum version of computer code on a silicon chip. This is a new breakthrough for computational engineers and coding overall as the achievement proves what some thought was unobtainable: the ability to build the world’s first quantum computer.
Engineers and researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia have created code that entangles two quantum bits applied to a silicon chip. The protocol passed the infamous inflexible Bell Test and received the highest score ever during the test. The UNSW team, appearing in the international journal, Nature Nanotechnology stated:
“We have succeeded in passing the test, and we have done so with the highest ‘score’ ever recorded in an experiment.”
The experiment proves that this quantum language can be written and controlled with a crafted silicon microchip for the first time in history. With this recent discovery, the first sketches of a quantum computer can come to life.
This puts a strain on the computing world of today, which uses traditional bits to operate specific tasks as well as perform encryption utilities. Thus, even though the quantum computer could be decades away traditional encryption and all coding, in general should take heed, the first steps are already being taken. Emails with PGP encryption could be broken, businesses harboring data online could be compromised, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could have a point of failure. This experiment by passing the Bell Test with with flying colors proves that quantum computing can and most definitely will happen.
Dr. Juan Pablo Dehollain, a UNSW Research Associate, explains:
“The key aspect of the Bell test is that it is extremely unforgiving: any imperfection in the preparation, manipulation and read-out protocol will cause the particles to fail the test.”
Bitcoin uses three different types of hash functions within its protocol: Elliptic Curve, RIPEMD, and SHA-256 encryption. With a fully functional quantum computer, the protocol and many other platforms may have to resort to quantum resistant cryptography in the future. The code written at UNSW is built upon what’s called quantum entanglement — a physical phenomenon that happens when two particles interact in a quantum state and cannot operate afterwards in an individual manner. The fact that these scientists have changed the dynamic scope of quantum theory itself should shake the encryption world to the core.
Andrea Morello, Associate Professor of Quantum Nanosystems at UNSW, feels this experiment had boggled computational experts and legendary scientists for years.
“What I find mesmerizing about this experiment is that this seemingly innocuous ‘quantum computer code’ — (01 + 10) and (00 + 11) — has puzzled, confused and infuriated generations of physicists over the past 80 years,” she said. “Now, we have shown beyond any doubt that we can write this code inside a device that resembles the silicon microchips you have on your laptop or your mobile phone. It’s a real triumph of electrical engineering.”
Scientists like Albert Einstein have been skeptical concerning the logic behind entanglement due to its contradiction with locality. Back in September, engineers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were successful in using a quantum teleport sequence from 100 kilometers away. This means relaying information from far distances could be instantaneous rather than being limited to the speed of light, which is pretty fast already. The breakthrough also means that the study and research of quantum resistant cryptography should move to the center stage even though the invention could be decades away.
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