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Record-Breaking Logic-Gate 'another Important Milestone' on Road to Quantum Computers

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The Oxford University team used the ion trap device shown here to achieve their record.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have achieved a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9% precision, reaching the benchmark required theoretically to build a quantum computer.

Credit: Shutterstock, Oxford University

Researchers at the University of Oxford say they have achieved a quantum logic gate with a precision, or fidelity, substantially greater than the previous world record.

The team reports it has achieved a logic gate with 99.9% precision.

Oxford professor David Lucas calls the breakthrough an another important milestone on the road to developing a quantum computer.

"The concept of 'quantum entanglement' describes a situation where two quantum objects--in our case, two individual atoms--share a joint quantum state," he notes.

The 99.9% precision means the entangled state will be generated correctly on average 999 times out of 1,000, and something will go wrong one time out of 1,000. At this level, a quantum computer can be built in theory, but in practice it could be very difficult and thus enormously expensive.

"If, in the future, a precision of 99.99% can be attained, the prospects look a lot more favorable," Lucas says.

The team used a method that was developed at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

From University of Oxford
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