December, 2003/January, 2004

Quantum Computing: Prospects and Pitfalls
70 pages

This report examines the current state of the technologies aimed at making quantum computers, organizes key issues and puts them in context, and succinctly explains how the technologies work.

Quantum computers, which use attributes of particles like photons, electrons and atoms to compute, would be fantastically fast for certain types of very large problems, including searching large databases and factoring the large numbers whose solutions would render today's encryption useless.

The report lays out the technologies researchers are using to make the basic building blocks of quantum computers -- qubits -- and to connect qubits into quantum computer architectures. These technologies include ion traps, semiconductor impurities, superconductor circuits, quantum dots, neutral atom optical traps, linear optics, nuclear magnetic resonance, molecular magnets, spectral hole burning devices, and Wigner crystals.

Scientists are also at work on software algorithms aimed to enable quantum architectures to solve certain types of problems many orders of magnitude faster than the fastest classical computers.

The report includes an executive summary, a list of 16 developments to look for as these cutting-edge technologies take shape, and a section of 52 researchers to watch, including links to their Web pages. It also includes a quick tour of 68 recent developments in six areas and a section of 52 in-depth news stories from TRN.

The stories are organized into nine categories: quantum computing schemes, qubits, logic gates, computer architectures, tools and resources, storage, communications, algorithms, and theory.

TRN's Making the Future reports contain live links, and can be read on a computer, printed and archived.

Buy the the Quantum Computing report for $89.
. You will receive download instructions via email.

Report Sections

Executive Summary:
300 words

Main Report:
6,412 words

How It Works:
756 words

In-Depth Stories:
52 stories, including 11 images

Table of Contents:

Main Report
The concept
Quantum weirdness
Unimaginable power
The challenge
Hardware, software and communications
Many potential models
Quantum denominations
Light logic
MRI technology
Controlling quantum information
Holding it together
Logical vs. physical
Living with errors
Entangled logic
Quantum chips
Tools of the trade
Entangling particles
Measuring entanglement
Reading the answers
Bottling chance
Making connections
Quantum software
Filling in the picture
The lay of the land
The long road ahead

How It Works

Atoms and ions
Ion traps
Quantum dots
Semiconductor impurities
Superconducting circuits
Optical traps

In-Depth Story Categories
Quantum computing schemes
Logic gates
Computer architectures
Tools and resources

Take a look at all available Making the Future reports.

View a four-page sample of the Making the Future report (pdf).

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