Engineers from the University of New South Wales, Australia, have made an important breakthrough that brings quantum computers one step closer to reality.

The team created a quantum version of a standard computer code within a silicon chip. The discovery shows that it is possible to construct realistic and reliable quantum computers.

Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems much more quickly than any computer that exists today, as they combine the rules of informatics to phenomena of quantum mechanics that are not observed in everyday life. Namely, the principle of superposition, popularized by Schrödinger’s cat being both alive and dead, andentanglement.

The specific test conducted in Australia used entanglement to run the code. Entangled particles are created together in a specific way so that their properties, such as energy and momentum, are connected. If a property is changed on one particle, for example during a measurement, the others will be affected as well. The changes are instantaneous, even if the two particles are at opposite ends of the universe, so scientists thought that it might be a violation of special relativity, which dictates that information cannot travel faster than light. Recently, it has been demonstrated that entanglement is a real phenomenon, though.

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