Quantum Computing May be Bolstered by Liquid-Like Electrons

The quantum computing field may have just received a coherence and error-prevention boost in the form of parafermions: grouped electrons that behave as liquids in a special state of matter. Scientists with the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore (opens in new tab) have demonstrated experimental results they expect to lead to parafermions when electrons maintain temperatures close to absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius). The research achieved a breakthrough by demonstrating that there are conditions in which electrons can have strong interactions – something that scientists merely theorized until now.

The ordered movement of electrons results in what we know as electricity. However, even when electrons are moving in this “ordered” pattern, they’re actually not. Because they’re negatively charged, electrons repel one another, tending to move individually and haphazardly in different directions (like a gas) instead of as a cohesive whole. They’re akin to impaired drivers: they may reach their destination with a few “bumps” along the way. But when electrons behave like a liquid, it’s akin to swapping the impaired drivers with orderly ones; drivers that know and respect each other’s boundaries, speed and direction to reduce conflicts and better reach their destination.

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