Why it matters: Quantum computing fundamentally could change the way problems are solved and will spawn a new era of advancements across many industries. Microsoft's latest research endeavor employs some of world's best talent that have a track record of making major breakthroughs.
Microsoft has christened a new quantum materials lab in Lyngby, Denmark that has been tasked with producing some of the physical pieces required to build the first scalable quantum computer. Engineers and researchers from Copenhagen University, the Technical University of Denmark, and Microsoft will staff the research laboratory.
There are four other quantum facilities being run by Microsoft, but this latest lab holds a special purpose. It will be building the qubit, or rather the quantum processing cores of the computer.
Peter Krogstrup, scientific director at Microsoft and professor of the University of Copenhagen will be in charge of daily operations at the lab. Experts in nanofabrication and quantum physics will work under Krogstrup's direction to push towards breakthroughs in technology.
One of the problems to be tackled by the new facility is creating sustainable quantum states that are more easily interpreted. Measuring extremely small particles at near absolute zero is difficult as it is, but any slight error in reading a quantum state can destroy the information contained in it without a second chance to try again. Krogstrup says, "That's one of the things that we are now able to investigate further here in Denmark."
Types of materials that are extremely pure and able to be precisely arranged will also be a research topic. In order to create a qubit, each and every atom of a substance must be in proper place without any room for error. Unlike traditional microprocessors containing material impurities that do not significantly affect performance, qubits can be rendered useless by a single atom defect.