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Ion Teleportation Scheme Could Scale Up Quantum Computers

Scientists have teleported the quantum state of one trapped ion onto another a meter away

3 min read

23 January 2009—A team of scientists is announcing today in the journal Science that in one of those bizarre demonstrations of quantum mechanics it has managed to teleport the quantum state of one ion onto another across a distance of a meter. Though we’re accustomed to thinking of the Star Trek version of teleportation, what physicists call teleportation is the exact mapping of one particle’s quantum characteristics to another distant particle. That matters because future quantum computers and quantum cryptography networks need some way of storing data and moving it around.

In the past decade, physicists have shown that teleportation is possible with magnetic fields, photons, and even atoms. What makes the new results—by Christopher Monroe of the University of Maryland and his colleagues—interesting is that the team uses a hybrid approach involving both atoms and photons that fits well with quantum information networks and quantum computers. Theoretically, Monroe says, the technique they have invented can be extended to distances as great as thousands of kilometers, although all they have demonstrated so far is one meter.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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