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New invention revolutionizes heat transport and in turns the Quantum computers

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Scientists of Aalto University, Finland have made a breakthrough in Physics. They succeeded in transporting heat with maximum efficiency ten thousand times more than further before. The discovery may lead to a giant leap in the development of quantum computers. Heat conduction is a fundamental physical phenomenon utilized, for the car industry, and electronics. Thus our day-to-day life is inevitably affected by major shocks in this field. The research group, led by Quantum Physicists Mikka Mottonen has now made one of the groundbreaking discoveries. This new invention revolutionizes quantum- limited heat conduction technology.

In physics, the quantum of thermal conductance of any electrically insulating structure that exhibits ballistic phonon channel of temperature is given by going thermal conductance of any electrically insulating structure that exhibits ballistic phonon transport is a positive integer multiple of go. The emerging quantum technological apparatus such as the quantum computer, call for extreme performance in thermal engineering at the nanoscale.


Importantly quantum mechanics sets a fundamental upper limit for the flow of information and heat, which is quantified by the quantum of thermal conductance. The physics of this kind of quantum-limited heat conduction has been experimentally studied for the Lattice vibrations, or phonons, for electromagnetic interactions, photons and for electrons. However, the short distance between the heat exchanging bodies in the previous experiments hinders the applicability of these systems in quantum technology.

Now, the experimental observations of quantum-limited heat conduction over macroscopic distances extending to a meter. They have achieved this striking improvement of four order magnitude in the distance by utilizing microwave photons traveling in superconducting transmission lines. Thus it seems that quantum-limited heat conduction has a fundamental restriction in its distance. This work lays the foundation for the integration of normal-metal components into superconducting transmission lines and hence provides an important tool for circuit quantum electrodynamics, which is the basis of emerging superconducting. In, particular our results demonstrate the cooling of nanoelectronic devices can be carried out remotely with the help of the help a far-away heat sink.

Quantum technology is still a developing research field, but its most promising application is the superefficient quantum computer. In the future, it can solve problems that a normal computer can never crack. The efficient operation of a quantum computer requires that it can be cooled down efficiently. At the same time, a quantum computer is prone to errors due to external noise.

Mottonen’s innovation may be utilized in cooling quantum processors very efficiently and so cleverly that the operation of the computer is not disturbed. In QCD labs in Finland, Mottonen’s research group succeeded in measuring quantum-limited heat transport over the distance up to a meter. A meter doesn’t sound very long at first, but previously scientists had been able to measure such heat transfer only up to an order of the thickness of a human hair and no doubt for computer processors a meter is an extremely long distance.


The key idea of the research was to use photons to transfer the heat. The team came up with the idea to use a transmission line with no electrical resistance to transport the photons. This superconducting line was built on a silicon chip with the size of a square centimeter. Tiny resistors were placed at the end of the transmission line. The research results were obtained by measuring the changes induced in the resistor’s temperature. The results enable the application of this phenomenon outside the laboratories, and the device built by the team has brought about a fundamental breakthrough in heat conduction and has opened a newer dimension of development for the Quantum Computers.

Source / Journal Aalto University Nature Physics, 2016
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