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IBM Researchers Test Quantum Pathway for Big Data Computing

Scientists want to create optically-interconnected supercomputers

An IBM team of scientists used a luminescent polymer to demonstrate the concept of Bose-Einstein condensation, which the company says could lead to advances in building quantum computers.

Researchers aim to develop a computing system that makes use of optoelectronic architecture to process big data 50 times faster than existing technology, IBM said Tuesday.

During an experiment, polymer film-light interaction formed bosons that IBM scientists believe can be used to create optically interconnected supercomputers.

"It's really a beautiful example of quantum mechanics where one can directly see the quantum world on a macroscopic scale," said Thilo Stoferle, a physicist with IBM Research.

IBM says the discovery may enable high-performance analytics in areas such as  business intelligence, financial modeling, grid management and weather forecasting.

The research appeared in the Nature Materials journal and was funded through EU's ICARUS program that explores hybrid semiconductor platforms for photonic and optoelectronic applications.

More Stories By Tim Watson

Tim Watson supervises all media production at Executive Mosaic, a digital media company that provides insight, information and analysis on several industries, including government contracting.

He previously produced byline coverage with the economics team at USA Today and evaluated lending proposals for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Tim was born and raised in Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business-Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a certificate in budgeting and finance from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Professional Education.