Al writes "Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a crucial step toward building a practical quantum computer: multiple computing operations on quantum bits. The NIST team performed five quantum logic operations and 10 transport operations (meaning they moved the qubit from one part of the system to another) in series, while reliably maintaining the states of their ions — a tricky task because the ions can easily be knocked out of their prepared state. The researchers used beryllium ions stored within so-called ion traps and added magnesium ions to keep the beryllium ones cool and prevent them from losing their quantum state." In related news, another reader links to an Australian study indicating that quantum computers "can continue to work perfectly even if half their components, or qubits, are missing."
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