ISAAC CHUANG / IBM ALMADEN RESEARCH CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ISAAC CHUANG / IBM ALMADEN RESEARCH CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Quantum computing decoherence. Three-dimensional graph showing the effects of decoherence on the qubit state in quantum computing. Qubits are the quantum computing equivalent of computing "bits". However, unlike bits, qubits exist in both "on" or "off" states at once. The broad peaks represent the extreme "on" and "off" states. The sharp peaks in between them represent quantum states between "on" and "off". A quantum computer uses molecules to save information in the qubit state which is far more powerful than normal computers. Decoher- ence is interference which causes the molecule to revert to one state and thus lose information.
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