With a combined $1.8 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation and the UA, materials science and engineering professor and department head Pierre Deymier explores building a quantum computer that uses sound instead of quantum particles to process information.
In digital computing, information is stored in bits that are either 0s or 1s. In quantum computing, information can be stored on a quantum bit, or a qubit, in both states at the same time, allowing for immensely powerful information processing and mathematical prowess. However, qubits are extremely sensitive to environmental conditions such as heat. Deymier believes that phonons, in units he has named "phase bits” or “phi-bits,” are the answer.
“Phonon-based computing has the power to change the world as we know it,” Deymier said.