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Ancient Namibian Gemstone Holds Key to Future Quantum Computers


Published on: April 22, 2022,

Computers need light to store data and perform. A special form of light made using Namibian gemstones could be a key to new light based quantum computers. According to researchers it could solve long held scientific mysteries.


The researchers at Harvard University in US and Macquarie University in Australia used a naturally mined cuprous oxide gemstone from Nambia to produce Rydberg polaritons.   Rydberg excitons is a semiconductor. Using Nambia gemstone produces the largest hybrid particles of light and matter ever created.  Rydberg polaritons continually switch from light to mater and back again like two sides of a coin.


With this interaction quantum simulators can be created which can create quantum computers where information are stored in quantum beats. These quantum beats unlike binary bits is classical computers can take any value between o and 1. Classical computers can take value of only 0 and 1.


With this capability quantum simulators can solve mysteries of physics, chemistry and biolgy, for example how to make high temperature superconductors for highspeed trains, how cheaper fertilizers could be made potentially solving global hunger etc.


Project lead Dr. Hamid Ohadi, of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, said: “Making a quantum simulator with light is the holy grail of science. We have taken a huge leap towards this by creating Rydberg polaritons, the key ingredient of it.”


The team is currently further refining these methods in order to explore the possibility of making quantum circuits, which are the next ingredient for quantum simulators.



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