Quantum computing has been one of the greatest scientific achievements as of recent. However, previous quantum computing advances have required very low temperatures near absolute zero (-273.15˚C). A new breakthrough published this week details how to make a functioning room temperature quantum computer using mothballs. Bringing quantum computing into more industries could be world changing in the advancement of fast processing and AI technologies. Normal computers work in binary with 1s and 0s, but quantum computing allows states in between 1s and 0s to communicate information.
The reason that quantum computers typically have to be very cold has to do with sustaining electron spin. Previously, at higher temperatures, electron spin states would be lost due to lattice vibrations. Electron spin states need to be sustained for more than 100 nanoseconds and cooling to absolute zero decreases lattice vibrations enough to sustain this. Moving on to how mothballs help sustain quantum computing at room temperature.
The burning of naphthalene, the main chemical in mothballs, creates long carbon nanosphere strings that sustain electron spin at room temperatures. Thus, it decreases lattice vibrations at room temperatures similar to how temperatures of absolute zero affect non-naphthalene computers.
[Image Source: Mohammad Choucair]
The material created from the burning of naphthalene is dispersed in ethanol and water solvents, according to the conversation. From here, the homogeneous solution could be laid out on glass to produce the substrate for the quantum computer. Surprisingly, this quantum computer achieved longer quantum spin rates than even absolute zero quantum computing. A record breaking 175 nanosecond quantum spin time was recorded, producing better results than graphene.
Aside from being able to achieve quantum computing at room temperature, this discovery also brings quantum computing costs down in large magnitudes. The cryogenic cooling systems required for previous quantum computers cost millions of dollars and skilled teams to set up and monitor. Since the carbon nanosphere substrate can be produced with cheap chemicals, it brings production costs to an absolute minimum. There’s even more to this astounding discovery too. Density in the carbon substrate is such that a higher amount of qubits can be packed into an even smaller area.
This may be the biggest breakthrough in the quantum computing world to date. Research for this breakthrough has been published here.