Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Invention Revolutionizes Quantum-Limited Heat Conduction

New invention revolutionises heat transport


Aalto University, Finland

Scientists at Aalto University have succeeded in transporting heat maximally effectively ten thousand times further than ever before.

[caption id="attachment_735" align="aligncenter" width="700"]New Invention Revolutionizes Quantum-Limited Heat Conduction                      New Invention Revolutionizes Quantum-Limited Heat Conduction[/caption]

Heat conduction is a fundamental physical phenomenon utilised, for example, in clothing, housing, car industry, and electronics. Thus our day-to-day life is inevitably affected by major shocks in this field. The research group, led by quantum physicist Mikko Möttönen has now made one of these groundbreaking discoveries. This new invention revolutionizes quantum-limited heat conduction which means as efficient heat transport as possible from point A to point B. This is great news especially for the developers of quantum computers.

Quantum technology is still a developing research field, but its most promising application is the super-efficient quantum computer. In the future, it can solve problems that a normal computer can never crack. The efficient operation of a quantum computer requires that it can be cooled down efficiently. At the same time, a quantum computer is prone to errors due to external noise.

Möttönen’s innovation may be utilised in cooling quantum processors very efficiently and so cleverly that the operation of the computer is not disturbed.

”Our research started already in 2011 and advanced little by little. It feels really great to achieve a fundamental scientific discovery that has real practical applications”, Professor Mikko Möttönen rejoices.

Important ideas

In the QCD Labs in Finland, Möttönen’s research group succeeded in measuring quantum-limited heat transport over distances up to a meter. A meter doesn’t sound very long at first, but previously scientists have been able to measure such heat transport only up to distances comparable to the thickness of a human hair.

“For computer processors, a meter is an extremely long distance. Nobody wants to build a larger processor than that”, stresses Möttönen.

The discovery is so important, that it will be published on February 1st, 2016 in Nature Physics which is the most prestigious scientific journal in physics.

The key idea in their research was to use photons to transfer the heat. Photons are particles that, for example, form the visible light. Previously scientists have used, for example, electrons as the heat carriers.

”We know that photons can transport heat over long distances. In fact, they bring the heat of the Sun to the Earth”, Möttönen says.

The team came up with the idea to use a transmission line with no electrical resistance to transport the photons. This superconducting line was built on a silicon chip with the size of a square centimeter. Tiny resistors were placed at the ends of the transmission line. The research results were obtained by measuring induced changes in the temperatures of these resistors.

New physics

The Quantum Computing and Devices (QCD) group led by Prof. Möttönen was able to show that quantum-limited heat conduction is possible over long distances. The result enables the application of this phenomenon outside laboratories. Thus the device built by the team fundamentally changes how heat conduction can be utilized in practice.

Möttönen’s previous research results have also been praised in the scientific community as well as the media. He has published articles in top journals, such as Nature and Science. However, there is a reason why this new discovery feels even better than previous breakthroughs:

”The research has been fully carried out in my lab by my staff. This really makes me feel like I hit the jackpot”, Möttönen rejoices.

The previous record for heat conduction was held by a research group led by Professor Jukka Pekola from Aalto University. This work was published in Nature in 2006.

Research article:

Matti Partanen, Kuan Yen Tan, Joonas Govenius, Russell E. Lake, Miika K. Mäkelä, Tuomo Tanttu, and Mikko Möttönen,

"Quantum-limited heat conduction over macroscopic distances",

Nature Physics, DOI: 10.1038/nphys3642

Link to the article:

News Release Source :  New invention revolutionises heat transport

Image Credit : Aalto University, Finland

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Australian Government Invested A$26 million for Development of Advanced Quantum Computing

A$26 million for development of advanced quantum computing

12 Feb 2016

The Australian Government recently announced an investment of A$26 million over five years to support the development of advanced quantum computingin Australia.

[caption id="attachment_729" align="aligncenter" width="563"]Australian Government Invested A$26 million for Development of Advanced Quantum Computing                            Australian Government Invested A$26 million for             Development of  Advanced Quantum Computing[/caption]

The funding, part of the new National Innovation & Science Agenda initiative, is being given to the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology (CQC2T) at the University of New South Wales (NSW).

The Centre is at the forefront of the race to build the world’s first functioning quantum computer.

In classic computing, information is represented in one of two states, either zero or one. In quantum computing, information can be stored in a large number of different states at the same time, meaning that quantum computers will have the astonishing potential to solve in minutes problems that now take conventional computers hundreds of years to process.

In October last year, the team at CQC2T announced a major quantum computing breakthrough, which was reported around the world. The NSW scientists found a way to incorporate quantum computing technology into silicon-based computer chips.

A significant advance and widely regarded, this has been reported as the first step in developing a practical quantum computing system because silicon, the building block of modern electronic devices, is cheap, easy to manufacture, and already widely available.

Quantum computing will have a transformational effect on the world as we know it today: the capacity to find information at lightning speed within a massive dataset will be a game changer in many fields, including aeronautics, finance, information technology, medicine and security.

‘It’s the space race of the computing era,’ says Professor Michelle Simmons, Director of the CQC2T at the University of New South Wales.

News Release Source : A$26 million for development of advanced quantum computing

Image Credit : UNSW