Less is more for Canadian quantum computing researchers
Researchers in Canada have found a way make a key building block for quantum computing from a custom photonics chip and off-the-shelf components intended for use in telecommunications equipment.
They have built a chip that can create entangled pairs of multicolored photons. The result is that they can be manipulated as two “qudits,” quantum computing digits, that can each hold 10 possible values.
Where classical computers operate on values in sequence, quantum computers are able to express all possible values of a variable simultaneously, collapsing to the “right” answer at the end of the calculation. Not all computing problems benefit from this treatment, but it is particularly useful in the factorization of large numbers, necessary for cracking many forms of encryption.