A delicate quantum memory state has been held steady at room temperature for a world record 39 minutes - overcoming a key barrier to ultrafast computers. Qubits of information set in a silicon system persisted for almost 100 times longer than still before. Quantum systems are disreputably fickle to measure and manipulate, but if harnessed could transform computing.
The new standard was set by an international team led by Mike Thewalt of Simon Fraser University, Canada. But in a quantum scheme, qubits are stored in a so-called superposition state in which they can be both 1s and 0 at the same time enabling them to perform multiple calculations concurrently. It's also a nice surprise that nothing goes wrong warming up and cooling the sample again - from an investigational point of view that's pretty significant.