July 3, 2014, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada – Researchers from Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) have found a potential link between graphene and the development of quantum computers. The research, conducted by an international team including PI Faculty member Dmitry (Dima) Abanin and postdoctoral researcher Zlatko Papić, was published in Science on July 3, 2014.
Whereas the three-dimensional world has two classes of fundamental particles – fermions and bosons – the two-dimensional world of graphene, a material that is only one atom thick, is a realm of quasiparticles called anyons. If these anyons are what’s known as “non-Abelian” (as the new theory indicates they should be), they might be used in the making of qubits – the bits of information processed by a quantum computer.
The remarkable promise of quantum computers – powerful processers that, by capitalizing on uniquely quantum phenomena, vastly outperform their classical counterparts at important tasks – will hinge on the development of a new breed of hardware. According to the new theoretical work, graphene may become a crucial piece of that puzzle.
While this new work is still a step away from experimental proof, it is an indication that graphene may have a very important role to play in the development of quantum computers and related technologies.
More information about this discovery can be found on Perimeter Institute’s website.