Solid State Quantum Processors Successfully Uses Shor's AlgorithmCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 20, 2012 09:06AM
Though quantum computers are still in development at the moment, algorithms for them have already been developed. These advanced programs take advantage of computer mechanics to solve problems exceedingly fast, compared to classic electronic computers. One of these algorithms was made by Peter Shor and it allows a quantum computer to factor numbers as much as 15 orders of magnitude faster than a modern computer (1015 seconds is over 31 million years). Now researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have created a solid state quantum processor that has successfully used this algorithm to factor 15.
Okay, 15 is not really an impressive number to factor, but it is the first one Shor's algorithm will work on and the same principles for factoring 15 are used to factor numbers with 600 digits. Also, this is the first time a solid state quantum processor has successfully run the algorithm, and in theory it can just be scaled up to become more powerful. The current design only has four superconducting phase qubits and five microwave resonators, which is still complex enough that a special control system had to be developed.
The processor also proved to be quite accurate in its work as it was correct for just less than half of the 150,000 tests. Shor's algorithm itself can only be correct half the time, so this is quite an accomplishment.