Researchers make quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number into prime factors

Computing prime factors may sound like an elementary math problem, but try it with a large number, say one that contains more than 600 digits, and the task becomes enormously challenging and impossibly time-consuming. Now, a group of researchers has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number — in this case the number 15 — into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5. Factoring very large numbers is at the heart of cybersecurity protocols, such as the most common form of encoding, known as RSA encryption.

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Story added 19. August 2012, content source with full text you can find at link above.