UNSW spearheading quantum computing research
AUSTRALIAN boffins are leading the world in the emerging field of quantum computing - the ability to manipulate atoms to carry information - after publishing research in the prestigious Nature journal.
The first working quantum bit was created by controlling the movements of a single phosphorous atom in silicon.
The nucleus of the atom is a weak magnet that can be imagined pointing north or south.
This is the equivalent of the traditional zeroes and ones that govern every computer action.
By using them to act as links in a computer's action, it not only increases its power but decreases its size.
A human hair is estimated to be about one million atoms wide.
Research by the University of New South Wales was spearheaded by three engineers - Sicentia Professor Andrew Dzurak, Associate Professor Andrea Morello and PhD student Jarryd Pla who doubles as lead author on the published paper.
Quantum computing will allow for exponentially faster computer than what is available now, allowing for hugely complex tasks like breaking modern encryption or modelling atomic systems much easier.