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D. A Big Leap for Quantum Computing

Narrator:This is Science Today. Although functional quantum computers are still many years away, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have made a great experimental leap forward in their pursuit of one. Raymond Laflamme, a staff scientist at the Lab, says quantum computers would be able to crack secret codes or solve huge mathematical problems much quicker than today's fastest supercomputing.

Laflamme: Quantum computation is really a revolution in the way that we're thinking about manipulation of information. The idea of going and manipulate atoms, nuclei themselves and manipulate the information with them, also gather information, strikes the imagination of the lay public.

Narrator: Using nuclear magnetic resonance techniques, the researchers created what's called a seven qubit quantum computer within a single drop of liquid that's controlled on the outside by radiofrequency pulses.

Laflamme: What we have done in the last five years is making demonstration that these ideas are not completely crazy - that is, we can go down with today's technology - to atoms and manipulate them.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.