The team developed a quantum computer that can perform arbitrary calculations with so-called quantum digits (qudits), thereby unlocking more computational power with fewer quantum particles.

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How did they do this?

The statement describes it as follows:

“In the Innsbruck quantum computer, (…), information is stored in individual trapped Calcium atoms. Each of these atoms naturally has eight different states, of which typically only two are used to store information. Indeed, almost all existing quantum computers have access to more quantum states than they use for computation.”

Making use of the full potential of atoms

By engineering a quantum computer that can make use of the full potential of these atoms, physicists have created a superior computer that can achieve much more while being just as reliable as its conventional counterparts. “Quantum systems naturally have more than just two states, and we showed that we can control them all equally well,” said Thomas Monz, the new study’s team leader.