Why Diamonds May Be Quantum Computing's Best Friend

A new quantum memory scheme can store information for more than a second, far longer than the previous methods.

Quantum computing takes advantage of quantum mechanics. A qubit, a quantum bit, can have a state of 1 or 0, but also a superposition of 1 and 0. This makes quantum computing ideal for powerful computing in the future. Only one problem, storing the qubits in room temperature conditions.

Currently, only rarefied conditions allow for qubits to be stored long term, but according to Scientific American researchers have found a way to use synthetic diamonds as a storage medium. The research groups of Mikhail Lukin of Harvard University and Ignacio Cirac of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, have found a way to store qubits in the spins of single-atom impurities in the diamonds. Spins are the quantum directions the magnetic poles of these particles point-- up being 1 and down being 0. In particular, the research focused on the area where carbon 13 and a nitrogen ions were the closest, using lasers to read the respective spins of the electrons.

In February, DeveiceLine reported on the possibility of a Trojan horse being introduced to commercial-grade quantum cryptography.