Magnetic fields are all around us—and even in us—all the time, and they often prove useful in technologies we rely on, like hard drives, MRI scanners and the power plants that provide us electricity.
Measuring small magnetic fields at an atomic scale would allow even more applications in areas of physics, materials science, data storage and biomedical science, including characterizing the magnetic properties of thin-film materials, performing magnetic resonance imaging of single proteins and measuring neural activity at the level of single dendrites.
The best clocks in the world can keep time so accurately that they only lose one second in millions or even billions of years. Yet, researchers are still fervently pursuing ever better clocks. Once a certain threshold of clock accuracy and stability is crossed, it will open up tremendous opportunities to understand the universe and to develop quantum technologies like accelerometers, gravimeters, and communication systems.
Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) have demonstrated a new method, called cycle benchmarking, to assess scalability and compare capabilities of different quantum computer platforms.
The finding leads the way towards establishing standards for quantum computing performance and strengthens the global effort to build a large-scale, practical quantum computer.