An experimental transistor that can make tiny quantum-scale changes to its quantum state can now be fabricated at a Chinese research centre, a new study says.
The breakthrough could lead to an even more powerful version of the transistor that could one day help power electronic devices that operate at subatomic levels.
Clips: Clips on a new type of transistor The new research, by a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, also adds to a growing body of work that has been showing that quantum-mechanical changes can be made to qubits.
“We think this technology will be very useful in quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum optics,” said Feng-Fang Xu, a professor of electrical engineering at the Chinese university.
He told reporters the research was based on a “quantum superposition” — the phenomenon that occurs when two qubits are entangled.
It is a state in which two entangled qubits behave as if one is in the other, but have no knowledge of each other’s state.
That allows researchers to use the system to make a series of tiny quantum modifications to the quantum state of one qubit, which would allow it to be manipulated in a quantum computing or quantum communication system.
The team used a series in which each qubit had a different number of bits — for example, the qubits have a total of 100 bits, but the number of qubits in each bit is different from 100 to 1.
This allowed them to make quantum-clipped circuits that can perform many calculations simultaneously.
The researchers used the “superposition of quantum states” approach to make the circuits, which can operate at the subatomic level.
Atoms in a qubit are quantum bits, which are the smallest units of information that can be encoded and stored in a digital signal.
However, qubits also have information in the form of “qubits” — tiny particles, also called “holes”, that can interact with each other and cause them to be correlated with each others.
For example, two qubit entangled by a hole can share information in their quantum state.
But the qubit itself is completely unconnected.
So the researchers could use a superposition of states to make these two quantum bits interact.
While this kind of superposition is known for classical computing, there are currently no quantum computers at the scale of a computer or a chip.
When quantum information is encoded into a computer chip, a chip becomes quantum, meaning it has the property of being able to store information at a particular quantum level — but it is still able to function at a different level.
This means the information is stored at a very low quantum level, allowing quantum computers to perform calculations at very high speeds.
However, this is not a very efficient way to store quantum information, because the amount of information stored in the quantum bit is very low.
To overcome this problem, the researchers used a new kind in which qubits could be used to form a quantum superposition that could have a quantum level of information but also a quantum-like level of control.
A quantum superposed quantum configuration can change the quantum level and the quantum information can also change the state of the quantum bits.
As this quantum superposing allows a quantum bit to control its quantum bits by changing the quantum states, the superposition can be used for other quantum tasks, such as quantum information storage, said Xiang Yang, a research associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Using a quantum configuration in a transistor has already been demonstrated at a few scales, so this research will make it possible to use these kinds of superpositions to make transistors that can operate on the sub-atomic level, he added.
But this kind is still a way off.
Quantum-clipping circuits can be useful for quantum computing but they cannot solve the quarks problem, which involves the quantum world being in a different quantum level from the physical world.