Chinese researchers have smashed the ten qubits record for Quantum Computing. The team from the University of Science and Technology of China achieved quantum entanglement with 18 qubits in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
The breakthrough represents a step toward creating large-scale quantum computers.
Pan Jianwei, with other physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China in eastern China’s Anhui Province, was able to hit 18 qubits by exploiting three different ‘freedom-paths’.
The team previously held the record for a stable 10-qubit entangled state back which they were able to achieve in 2017.
How did the team hit 18 qubits
In layman’s terms, a single photo has different degrees of freedom. For example, if a photon is polarised or what the momentum of the photon is.
Engineers creating quantum computers can use this to encode their machines. They might encode the first qubit in the polarisation degree of freedom of a single photon, the second qubit in the path degree of freedom of the same photon.
The University of Science and Technology team combined three different characteristics of the photon for six different photons to encode 18 qubits. The group claim their experiment resulted in a stable 18-qubit state.
Published as “18-Qubit Entanglement with Six Photons’ Three Degrees of Freedom” in Physical Review Letters 28 June 2018