Mechanical Qubit Designed
Someday quantum computers are going to run algorithms modern electronic computers are simply incapable of calculating. That day is still in the future though as many of the necessary components for a quantum computer still have challenges to overcome. Researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen however have developed a new qubit technology which is not subject to some common challenges because it operates in a completely different way.
The typical qubit is a charged particle of one kind or another that has been electromagnetically trapped with information encoded onto it. Because the particle is charged though, it is susceptible to interference from external electromagnetic forces. What the researchers suggest is a qubit based on a vibrating carbon nanotube. As the nanotube is electrically neutral and the vibration is mechanical, the data stored by it would be protected from the interference that plagues the others. Electrodes on either side of the nanotube are able to optoelectronically select the vibrational state of the nanotube, thus reading and writing information to it.
In theory this design is completely feasible for a quantum computer, as the information could be stored for a long enough time to prove useful. An added benefit to this design though is that it is viable with current technology, and thereby could bring quantum computers closer to reality.
Source: Technische Universitaet Muenchen