An international team of researchers has discovered an unusual property in a particle called an ‘anyon’, which they say could provide the key to quantum computing.
The research, a joint project between Macquarie University, University of Leeds and Microsoft Research, has found that anyons move relatively slowly compared with conventional quantum mechanical particles.
Although the full implications of the research cannot yet be understood, researcher Lauri Lehman says the discovery could help in the development of a quantum computer, a theoretical device which would have capabilities far beyond those of even the most advanced computers of today.
"This is a surprising result because you would expect anyons to behave like quantum mechanical particles,” Lehman says.
"This research is extremely interesting because it may provide the key to doing quantum computation in a way that is particularly well protected from the disturbances of the environment.”