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Breakthrough in quantum computing gives the world a quantum leap!

Scanning electron microscope image of an ultra-coherent superconducting electro-mechanical system.
© Amir Youssefi / EPFL

Scientists at EPFL have made a big breakthrough in the field of quantum computing and communication systems. They have been able to extend the lifetime of something called a “quantum state” in a mechanical oscillator. This is a big deal because it can help make quantum computers and communication systems work better.

Over the past decade, scientists have made a lot of progress in creating quantum states in mechanical systems. This means they have been able to make big objects behave like tiny particles, which is really cool! They did this by connecting mechanical oscillators to light particles, which allowed them to cool the oscillators down and reduce their vibrations. This has opened up new opportunities in many areas, including the search for dark matter.

To make these systems work well, scientists need to balance two things: keeping the mechanical oscillators isolated from their environment to prevent energy loss, and connecting them to other systems to control them. This is a big challenge, but scientists at EPFL have found a way to do it by developing a new platform that shows very low energy loss while still allowing for good control.

The key to their success is something called a “vacuum-gap drumhead capacitor”, which is a vibrating element made of thin aluminum film. By using a new technique, the team was able to reduce energy loss in the capacitor, resulting in an impressive 93% accuracy of the quantum state. This means that they were able to keep the quantum state stable for a longer period of time than ever before.

This breakthrough is really exciting and could have a big impact on many fields, including physics, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. It’s amazing what scientists can do when they work together and use their knowledge and creativity!

Source: EPFL 

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