Groundbreaking Quantum Cooling System Provides an Environment Colder Than Space

Despite significant advancements in the field of quantum computing, we have yet to see a powerful quantum computer. However, with the newly developed 2D quantum cooling system, this is now possible.
Groundbreaking Quantum Cooling System

There is a lot of buzz these days about quantum computing systems. However, we have yet to build a fully functional, powerful quantum computer capable of large-scale computations. The main reason for this is the lack of technology to keep quantum computers cool. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) are overcoming this barrier with a 2D quantum cooling system, initiating a revolution.

Significant Advancement in Quantum Computing

For quantum computers to function, the most fundamental units, qubits (which can be thought of as the 1s and 0s of traditional computers but can exist in both states simultaneously), need to be at -273 degrees Celsius, or absolute zero. This is even colder than the deepest regions of space. For now, it is not possible to operate a quantum system without reaching such low temperatures.

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In various research projects around the world, we can reach absolute zero temperatures, but maintaining this temperature is crucial for quantum computers. Even if you create a device powerful enough to cool the qubits, another significant challenge remains. Many electrical components that enable the operation of quantum circuits and qubits continuously produce heat, making it difficult to maintain ultra-low temperatures. Many traditional quantum cooling methods involve isolating these electrical components from the quantum circuits, confining quantum computers to laboratory environments.

Imagine this: you’re playing games nonstop on a gaming computer in a cool room. Despite having cooling mechanisms, the computer will heat up to a certain point as it runs, and over time, this heat will also increase the room’s temperature. In quantum computing systems, there was no mechanism to continuously keep the qubits cool. However, EPFL researchers have developed a device that can provide this cooling.

The solution lies in a phenomenon that is 127 years old.

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The 2D quantum cooling system developed by EPFL researchers interestingly leverages the 127-year-old Nernst effect. This effect produces an electric voltage when a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to a temperature-changing object. The two-dimensional structure of the device in the lab (a few atoms thick) allows the efficiency of this mechanism to be controlled electrically. Converting heat to voltage at such low temperatures is typically extremely difficult, but the new device and the Nernst effect make this possible, filling a critical gap in quantum technology.

The researchers built the 2D device using graphene, known for its high electrical conductivity, and indium selenide, which offers excellent semiconductor properties. The cooling system, combined with the Nernst effect, enables the quantum system to be cooled continuously and in a manageable way.

The developed 2D device was also successfully tested, managing to convert heat to electricity at -273 degrees. The research team says their device can be integrated into existing low-temperature quantum circuits. Additionally, it uses easily obtainable electronics, making affordable mass production feasible.

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