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NIST is home to a broad interdisciplinary program in quantum information science. NIST is exploring multiple implementations of qubits and strategies for taking advantage of quantum effects to compute, simulate, and improve fundamental measurement strategies. Josephson junctions are at the heart of the superconducting approach. Nonlinear behavior helps to create "artificial atoms" that are easy to manipulate and couple together. In addition, mechanical and electrical resonators can store and process quantum information. Work in this project falls into several research topics described below.
Research on quantum information (QI) seeks to control and exploit exotic properties of quantum mechanics, and researchers are already generating "unbreakable" codes for ultra-secure encryption. Someday, quantum computers could solve problems impossible for today's and even tomorrow’s most powerful supercomputers. This project takes advantage of superconductivity at low temperatures, Josephson junctions, mechanical elements, and careful circuit design to develop quantum bits (qubits), mechanical and electrical resonators, tunable couplers, and electrical measurement techniques to exploit the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics to improve computing, simulation, and high precision measurements.