By Ben Turner
The technique could be used to protect quantum computer data from errors.
The new phase was made by firing lasers at 10 ytterbium ions inside a quantum computer. (Image credit: Jurik Peter via Shutterstock)
By firing a Fibonacci laser pulse at atoms inside a quantum computer, physicists have created a completely new, strange phase of matter that behaves as if it had two dimensions of time.
The new phase of matter, created by using lasers to rhythmically jiggle a strand of 10 ytterbium ions, enables scientists to store information in a far more error-protected way, thereby opening the path to quantum computers that can hold on to data for a long time without becoming garbled. The researchers outlined their findings in a paper published July 20 in the journal Nature (opens in new tab).
The inclusion of a theoretical "extra" time dimension "is a completely different way of thinking about phases of matter," lead author Philipp Dumitrescu, a researcher at the Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Quantum Physics in New York City, said in a statement. "I've been working on these theory ideas for over five years, and seeing them come actually to be realized in experiments is exciting."
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