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Quantum Computer Creates Particle That Can Remember Its Past

In a significant advancement for quantum computing, a recent report by New Scientist reveals that a quantum computer has successfully generated a particle known as an anyon, which possesses the ability to retain its past states. This groundbreaking development carries the potential to enhance the capabilities of quantum computing systems.

Unlike conventional particles, anyons possess a unique characteristic of maintaining a form of memory concerning their previous locations. Initially observed in the 1970s, anyons exist solely in two dimensions and exhibit quasiparticle properties—collective vibrations that exhibit particle-like behavior.

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Of particular interest are the so-called swapping anyons, which retain a record of the number of swaps they undergo, influencing their vibrational patterns. This intriguing quality makes them a compelling avenue for quantum computing. However, until now, experimental confirmation of their existence had remained elusive.

Enter Henrik Dryer and his team at the quantum computing company Quantinuum. They have made a remarkable breakthrough with the development of a cutting-edge quantum processor called H2. This quantum processor has the capability to generate qubits, the fundamental units of quantum information, and also introduce surface anyons—a significant achievement in the field.

With this advancement, the potential for leveraging anyons in quantum computing systems takes a significant leap forward. The ability of anyons to retain and manipulate information from previous states holds tremendous promise for enhancing the computational power and efficiency of future quantum computers.

A Kagome Lattice

They did this by entangling these qubits in a formation called a Kagome lattice, a pattern of interlocking stars common in traditional woven Japanese baskets, giving them identical quantum mechanical properties to those predicted for anyons.

“This is the first convincing test that’s been able to do that, so this would be the first case of what you would call non-Abelian topological order,” told New Scientist Steven Simon at the University of Oxford.