by Futurism March 11, 2016 from Futurism Website
a 5atom quantum computer, one that is able to render
traditional encryption
obsolete.
A new Computer
Researchers from MIT say that they have developed the world’s first fiveatom quantum computer, and they assert that it is capable of cracking today’s traditional encryption methods  today’s most notable encryption methods.
To break this down a bit, in computing, numbers are traditionally binary (represented by 0 and 1).
However, in quantum computing, these units are known as "qubits," which are in a state of superposition, being simultaneously 0 and 1. This opens a number of doors in relation to computing and encryption.
This is just a very basic overview, the video below delves into the workings and purposes a bit deeper.
How Does a Quantum Computer Work?
Now then, because of the way that the computer functions, it typically takes about 12 qubits to factor the number 15. What researchers at MIT and the University of Innsbruck, Austria have done is bring that number down to just 5 qubits, with each qubit represented by one atom.
But perhaps what it most notable about all this is that the system will feature scalability, allowing more atoms and lasers to be added. This is important, as it is the use of laser pulses that stabilizes the quantum system and holds atoms in an ion trap.
So in short, the scalability will enable the building of bigger and faster quantum computers, ones that can factor much larger numbers.
Making a 5 Atom Computer
The creation of this five atom quantum computer comes in response to a challenge posed in 1994 by Professor Peter Shor of MIT.
Professor Shor developed a quantum algorithm that’s able to calculate a large number’s prime factors more efficiently than traditional computers, with 15 being the smallest figure to meaningfully demonstrate the algorithm.
The new system was able to return the correct factors and with a confidence upwards of 99 percent.
Professor Isaac Chuan of MIT said:
Of course, this may be a little easier said than done.
Yet, Chuang has his team are hopeful for the future of quantum computing, saying that they,
Their findings (Realization of a Scalable Shor Algorithm) have been published in the journal Science.
