Quantum Circuit Refrigerator Invented

IAS Prelims 2023

Quantum physicist Mikko Möttönen and his team at Aalto University have invented a quantum-circuit refrigerator, which can reduce errors in quantum computing.

The global race towards a functioning quantum computer is on. With future quantum computers, we will be able to solve previously impossible problems and develop, for example, complex medicines, fertilizers, or artificial intelligence.

Just like ordinary processors, a quantum computer also needs a cooling mechanism. In the future, thousands or even millions of logical qubits may be simultaneously used in computation, and in order to obtain the correct result, every qubit has to be reset in the beginning of the computation.

If the qubits are too hot, they cannot be initialized because they are switching between different states too much. This is the problem Möttönen and his group have developed a solution to.

The nanoscale refrigerator developed by the research group at Aalto University solves a massive challenge: with its help, most electrical quantum devices can be initialized quickly. The devices thus become more powerful and reliable.

Tan cooled down a qubit-like superconducting resonator utilizing the tunneling of single electrons through a two-nanometer-thick insulator.