Poor Schrödinger’s cat: Entangled particles can now be in 103 states at once

Gigaom

Quantum computers, which could bring about a new age of ultra-fast, low-power computing, draw their power from networks of particles. Like transistors in a modern computer, scientists have focused on working with more and more particles to boost their speed. But researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona asked a different question: What if they pushed each particle to do more, instead of relying on more particles?

The result is a system that relies on just two particles, but each of the particles can assume 103 different states. Generally, particles in quantum computers can be in three different states, such as “up,” “down” or “both.” It’s like Schrödinger’s cat, a thought experiment that poses a cat locked in a box with poison is both alive and dead until an observer opens the box.

“We have two Schrödinger cats which could be alive, dead, or in 101 other states simultaneously” UAB researcher Marcus Huber said in a…

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