Quantum computing, where the amazing phenomenons of the superposition principle and entanglement are exploited, may be much further on the way to becoming mainstream. The superposition principle is the weirdly and scientifically abstract, notion that objects and systems do not exist in clearly defined states, but exists in multiple states, and entanglement delineates that any affect applied to any of the states will affect the other. It can happen with a simple process such as measurement, and the effect is independent of distance.

Deliciously weird, but amazingly powerful. Think about it, In traditional computing, the logic gates can be in either on of two states. They can be either on, represented by a 1, or they can be off, represented by a zero. A 4-bit computer is capable of holding 16 numbers (2 to the 4th power ). The quantum computer replaces the binary digits of one and zero, with any of the states that exist between the two. These states have been given the name qubits.

The theory is that, the values on which the quantum computer can operate with parallel processing capability, can be astounding. A 30-qubit quantum computer should be capable of performing 10 trillion floating-point operations in a second.

The challenges lie in building the what are described as most complex superconductor integrated circuits.The performance of quantum computing can be affected by temperature, noise and precision of hardware operation. In June of 2015, a company known as D-wave systems in Palo Alto announced that it had developed an 1152 qubit processor, which may be the powerful to-date. One of the biggest challenges, is the proper construction of the logic gates, however development of the Fredkin gate may change the landscape. The quantum Fredkin gate, originally proposed by Edward Fredkin, an early pioneer in digital physics who taught at Carnegie Mellon and MIT, requires the assembling of at least five two-qubit gates (4 qubits) to be installed in one circuit.

Researchers at the University of Queensland, and Griffith University appear to have overcome the challenge with the recent demonstration of a quantum login operation. Dr Raj Patel from Griffith’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics explains that optimizing the computer processing power, by making the most efficient use of resources, and minimizing the number of logic gates has been one of the stumbling block. The Fredkin gate may just be the answer, as bigger and fewer such gates are needed, while still allowing increased processing capability.

The qubit source in the demonstration was derived from particles of light known as photons, with additional characteristics of the Fredkin gate, being direct controlled swapping, where the value of two qubits can be swapped, depending on the third qubit value.The use of light is now one of the strongest areas of advancements in quantum computers while the swapping feature is essential in secure quantum communication or encryption protocols where verification of strings or signatures are required.

The chief investigator, Professor Geoff Pryde, also from Griffith’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, expects the unleashing of applications that have currently been out of reach or unimagined.

Researchers at the Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University have developed what can be described as a quantum noise cancelling effect, where noises dramatically affects quantum computing performance. Making use of the characteristic of Atomic clock transitions, the spin of the holmium ion use in the demonstration, was measured to be unaffected by factors or disturbances such as decoherence for a period of 8.3 microseconds. MagLab physicist Dorsa Komijani, explains that although 8.3 microseconds may appear to be minuscule, at the quantum level, it is very extensive and along with the Fredkin gate, the door to further indicating the possibilities for quantum computing, which possess enormous implications is now opened much wider.