Saturday, September 20, 2008

A small step for man, a quantum leap for mankind

From bit to qubit, from classical to quantum physics- this is the new focus in the world of computing. Quantum computing is the newest idea in the field of computation, in which the information is stored using quantum bits. The first step to make this path breaking technology to work is to compress the size of the microprocessor chips to the size of the atom. And this is exactly what researchers at Duke have attempted to do over the past few years. It was a team led by the Physics professor Albert Chang, which was successful in forming links between quantum dots- the building blocks of quantum computers.

Presently, researchers from Duke, MIT, and Georgia Tech are collaborating to design a working quantum data processor. The future implications of quantum computing are unimaginable.

Jungsang Kim, Nortel Networks assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, predicts that "future quantum computers could easily crack cryptosystems widely used for secure communication today – whether to bank accounts or military installations – in the blink of an eye."

Since the basis for quantum computers will be to manage and harness the extraordinarily fast events that take place on the atomic scale, they have the potential to perform calculations that can otherwise take infinite amount of classical computing power. The advent of quantum computing would be one more step towards proving the fact that the physical world is governed by much more than what Newton forumulated.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cue the Action News Music!

We're under new management.

Today, we're announcing three new faces on the Duke Research blog who will add more content and more voices. We hope to do a better job of capturing the personalities and events in Duke's constantly-humming research community that wouldn't otherwise rise to the level of a press release or Duke Research story.

Monte Basgall, is Duke's senior science writer in the news office. A former newspaper reporter, he gravitates toward the physical sciences, math, statistics and the like. He's been at Duke more than 15 years and knows the research and the researchers like the back of his hand.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have two newcomers: Becca Bayham is a freshman from St. Louis who is leaning toward an environmental sciences major, and like most Duke freshmen had a very healthy diet of all sciences in high school. Vansh Muttreja is also a freshman, from New Delhi, India, who's thinking about math and economics and pressure cookers and alarm clocks...

I'm Karl Bates, the research editor in the news office, who's been struggling to make this blog worth reading. We think this blog is going to be a great new channel for sharing the Duke experience with you and hope you'll add us to your favorite reader or feed and stay in touch!