Microsoft’s Azure Quantum Program has developed applications that can create quantum properties that scientists have imagined for almost a century, but which until now could not be unambiguously produced in the real world. It’s a scientific breakthrough that demonstrates the intangible building blocks of a topological quantum bit or qubit that Microsoft has long followed as the most promising path to develop a scalable quantum computer that will launch a new generation of hitherto unimaginable computing features to Azure. customers.
“The amazing thing is that humans have been able to design a system to demonstrate one of the most exotic pieces of physics in the universe. And we expect to take advantage of this to make it almost unthinkable – to strive for a fault-tolerant quantum machine that will enable computation at a whole new level closer to the way nature works, “said Krysta Svore, a leading Microsoft engineer. the company’s quantum software program.
“It has never been done before, and until now it was never certain that it could be done. And now it is the case that yes, here is this ultimate confirmation that we are on the right track, “she said.
Based on two decades of scientific research and recent investments in simulation and fabrication, the Azure Quantum team has developed devices that allow them to induce a topological phase of matter booked by a few Majorana null modes. These quantum excitations do not usually occur in nature and must be enticed to appear under incredibly precise conditions.
Scientists have been trying to create and observe these excitations since they were first theorized in 1937. Recently, they realized that Majorana zeros can play an important role in protecting quantum information and enabling reliable calculations.
The Azure Quantum team has also been able to produce a so-called topological phase and measure the topological gap, which quantifies the stability of the phase.
The ability to create and maintain a quantum phase with Majorana zero states and a measurable topological gap removes the biggest obstacle to producing a unique type of qubit that Microsoft’s quantum machine will use to store and compute information, a so-called topological qubit. It is the basis of Microsoft’s approach to building a quantum computer that is expected to be more stable than machines built with other types of known qubits, and therefore scalable like no other.
Scientists around the world are racing to better understand the complex chemical or molecular processes that can help remove climate-warming gases from the atmosphere, create better batteries or renewable energy sources, produce more food on one hectare of land. or help remove contaminants to create clean water.
But even with today’s enormous computer capabilities, some of these problems exceed the limits of classic computers, which would take years or decades or the lifetime of the universe to solve. In contrast, quantum computers try to use quantum mechanics – the same laws and mathematical equations that describe how subatomic particles behave – to process information in entirely new ways and on a scale that was previously unattainable.
“Finding out how to feed or heal the world from climate change requires discoveries or optimization of molecules that simply cannot be performed by today’s classic computers, and this is where the quantum machine starts,” says Microsoft’s Quantum Corporate Vice President Zulfi Alam, who said. that in his job he thinks a lot about how he leaves the world a better place for his four-year-old.
“I do not know if we have done that in the last two or three generations,” he said. “So hopefully we can now give back and do something to help heal the planet, and I believe we need the computing power of quantum computers to do that.”
Read more details on the Microsoft website.