According to Professor Roi Oseri of the Weizmann Institute of Science, he and a team of graduate students in his university laboratory have been working on various elements of the computer for several years and have spent the last two to three years assembling the device.
This device is one of about 30 quantum computers in the world at various stages, and one of fewer than 10 using ion traps, an advanced technology that traps ions in a small space using magnetic and/or electric fields. Trapped ions can form the basis of quantum bits or qubits, the basic unit of quantum information.
Quantum computers promise to achieve computational complexity unthinkable even with the most powerful classical computers. This level of ability is known as “quantum advantage”. This should lead to a myriad of applications for the technology, from developing uncrackable codes and predicting market fluctuations to accelerating the development of new drugs, materials, and artificial intelligence systems.
Unlike modern computers, which are limited by the boundaries of classical physics, quantum computers obey a completely different set of laws – the laws of quantum mechanics – that govern the microscopic world.
Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel are racing to make quantum computing more accessible and build complementary systems, while countries like China, the US, Germany, India, and Japan are pouring millions into developing their own quantum technologies.