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According to NIST News Page, Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated the first “universal” programmable quantum information processor able to run any program allowed by quantum mechanics—the rules governing the submicroscopic world—using two quantum bits (qubits) of information. The processor could be a module in a future quantum computer, which theoretically could solve some important problems that are intractable today.

Levitin and Toffoli have published a paper that is best summed up by the final sentence of the abstract: "These results establish the fundamental quantum limit on the rate of operation of any information-processing system". News article here and paper on arXiv here

In a paper appearing today in Physical Review Letters, however, MIT researchers present a new algorithm that could bring the same type of efficiency to systems of linear equations — whose solution is crucial to image processing, video processing, signal processing, robot control, weather modeling, genetic analysis and population analysis, to name just a few applications. Read the original paper at ArXiv.

The document which serves as the basis for the consultation is the RESEARCH AGENDA for 2011-2013 drafted by the QUROPE governing board. The document gives a motivation for the field, presents the challenges, explains the impact, lists the disciplines involved and describes the level of maturity of the field as well as the stakeholders.

Hamish Johnston speculates about possible QI Nobel laureates.

According to PhysicsWorld researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany have added another capability to the quantum computing toolkit by being the first to show that light beams of three different wavelengths can be entangled. This achievement could provide a way to create three-way optical communication links between elements of a quantum computer. This result was published in the recent issue of Science magazine.

Quantum cryptography is a promising new way to send encrypted information. This new technology does suffer from some drawbacks. One of the toughest problems is the range that information can be sent is limited to around 50-100 km. Advancements have been underway. The most promising advancement is being working on by a team based out of the Australian National University. They found a way to store and manipulate photons to be used as a memory device.

<p>According to Physics World researchers at the University of Bristol, UK have made a prototype optical quantum computer chip and used it to perform a mathematical calculation. The device consists of tiny silica waveguides on a silicon chip and carries out a version of the quantum calculation known as Shor's algorithm. The result is an important step towards making practical, real-world quantum computers.</p>
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New results in quantum cryptography show that the original protocol based on Bell's inequality is so powerful that it extends beyond the quantum realm. In the recent issue of Physics World Artur Ekert traces it all back to Einstein's considerations about physical reality.

Researchers in Austria, Germany and the US, proposed a scheme to couple the motion of a single atom with a crystal membrane. This scheme could be used to observe quantum-mechanical effects on a larger scale than ever before.