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In 1981, Richard Feynman suggested that a quantum computer might be able to simulate the evolution of quantum systems much better than classical computers. Except for several proof-of-principle experiments, no working quantum computer has yet been built.

While researchers have succeeded in creating qubits that survive long enough to take part in computations, entangling qubits so that they can form quantum registers that are large enough for any practical purposes has eluded experimenters up to now. Registers temporarily hold data within a processor during a computation.

Results published last week in Physical Review X by teams of researchers  from Germany and Austria have rekindled optimism in the pursuit of a working quantum computer. They report a quantum register of 20 qubits, that, when entangled, can store more than a million quantum states.

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