Those working in the field of quantum computing have long been working to advance the development of quantum processors, of course, but the prospect of quantum RAM has just arrived on the scene, thanks to new research on the self. -called «. time crystals.
As Tom's Hardware (opens in a new tab) points out, the idea of time crystals is not new, and Frank Wilczek, a theoretical physicist who won a Nobel Prize, first theorized them a decade ago.
Then, in 2016, two groups of scientists claimed to have created the first time crystals, and now, in a new paper published via Nature (opens in a new tab), researchers at Aalto University in Finland successfully experimented with a pair of crystals coupled in time. , and this could pave the way for the creation of quantum RAM, as mentioned.
What exactly is a time crystal? It is a quantum system with particles in a pattern of periodic motion that repeats and maintains itself in perpetuity, without burning or creating energy.
In other words, it is a system that reaches a state of stable motion without energy, obeying the laws of thermodynamics. There is no work done on the system, and no energy that can be extracted from it.
The researchers created their system of two coupled time crystals in helium-3 in a superfluid state (achieved by cooling to a small amount above absolute zero), using a laser to create the time crystals (by pumping energy).
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In this experiment, the movement of the time crystal continued not indefinitely, but for almost 17 minutes, although this is really an absolute era in quantum computing (where coherence times are measured in milliseconds, and not even seconds, and much less in minutes).
And that's enough to spur speculation that time crystals could be the key to unlocking the quantum computing equivalent of RAM, acting as a system with long-lasting storage potential that can be accessed by the quantum processor. In addition, the researchers also hypothesized that this system of coupled time crystals could work at room temperature (instead of having to cool down very close to absolute zero, as is the case in this experiment, which is of course not very practical). ).
In short, it looks like this idea of quantum RAM made of time crystals may eventually see the light of day; although in reality there is still a long way to go (and that is true enough for the wider world of quantum computers, of course).