Scientists claim to have built a ‘superconducting computer’

Recently, Dutch researchers detailed their innovations. They succeeded where other engineers failed in the 1970s by creating a superconducting computer. For scientists, this innovation opens the way for computers 300 to 400 times faster than those that exist today.

A century-old problem

at Their press release From April 27, 2022, researchers from Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) recall the story of Kamerling Onnes (1853-1926). In 1911, this Dutch physicist discovered superconductivity phenomenon. His work made it possible to understand that some materials cooled to a temperature close to absolute zero can conduct electricity very quickly without energy loss.

Superconductivity could revolutionize electronics. Only here, when electrons in a wire are spinning in a free manner, restricting or preventing their movement becomes very difficult. The only way to do that is to change the magnetic field. So the electrons will be forced to go one way or the other. However, one of the basic principles of modern electronics is that electricity should flow in only one direction.

By convention, electric current flows in the opposite direction to the electrons. Credits: WebSavoir

In the 1970s, engineers from IBM attempted to build a superconducting computer. Unfortunately, this project failed. Indeed, the researchers indicated that they were unable to succeed In the absence of a unidirectional superconductor.

Innovation for big changes

A team from Delft University of Technology claims to have succeeded where the experts at IBM failed. Details of his work in the magazine temper nature It refers to the “Josephson junction” that allows electrons to be oriented. According to the researchers, it is a “superconductor sandwich” that includes a Non-superconducting barrier in the middle. This type of device is not new in itself, but it did not make it possible to direct electrons. The scientists note that their innovation is based on Nb3Br8, a substance they developed specifically for the occasion. Thus, this material embodies the famous non-superconducting barrier, whose thickness is Just a few layers of atoms.

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Finally, this discovery is not a revolution in and of itself, but it could make major changes in the world of electronics. Researchers believe that if it becomes possible to produce computers incorporating this technology, it will be possible 300 to 400 faster of the ones we use today. This would point to the shelving of semiconductors in favor of superconductors.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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