Two atoms inflated to an almost comical size and cooled to a fraction above absolute zero have been used to generate a robust, incredibly fast two-qubit quantum gate.

A two-qubit gate is the building block of efficient quantum computers. Current limitations for noise-free quantum operations may be broken through a new type of quantum computer architecture.

Qubit is a contraction. The basic unit of information on which computing technology is based is called quantum computing.

Information and the logic used to compute it are represented by a system. The units that make up this system are in a state of on or off. They are often referred to as a one or zero.

As a state known as a quantum superposition, qubits can be both simultaneously. A qubit isn't a lot of a computer on its own. They can be combined with the superpositions of other qubits.

The logic of the two-qubit gate is based on the state of the entangled qubits. The simplest part of a quantum computer allows qubits to be read.

Scientists have been experimenting with quantum gates for some time, and have achieved some amazing results. The superpositions of the qubits can quickly and easily degrade due to external sources becoming entangled.

Since the intrusion is slower than a millionth of a second, a quantum gate that is faster than this will be able to outrun the noise to produce accurate calculations.

A team of researchers led by physicist Yeelai Chew of the National Institute of Natural Sciences in Japan decided to use a slightly different approach to the goal.

The atoms of rubidium are in the qubits. The atoms were cooled to almost absolute zero and positioned at a precise distance from each other using optical tweezers.

Physicists used lasers to pulse the atoms. The atoms were puffed up into objects known as rydberg atoms after this knocked electrons from the closest orbital distance to each atomic nucleus. The exchange of orbital shape and electron energy took place in 6.5 seconds.

The researchers were able to perform a quantum gate operation between the two atoms using more lasers. The researchers said that the speed of the operation was over 100 times faster than any previous experiment with the same kind of technology.

The fastest two-qubit quantum gate operations have yet to be beaten. The new work involves a different approach that could sidestep some of the limitations of other types currently being developed.

Clues that help minimize deficiencies in other types of hardware could be found if you explore different architectures.

The team said that the next steps are clearly defined. They need to replace the commercial laser with a purpose-built one in order to improve accuracy since the laser can contribute to noise.

The research has appeared in a journal.