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B. A Quantum Leap Seems to Support Moore's Law

Narrator: This is Science Today. In 1965, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, predicted that the density of transistors on semiconductor chips would double roughly every 18 months. Raymond Laflamme, a scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, says this observation, now known as Moore's Law, accurately describes a trend that continues today.

Laflamme: Every eighteen months, the size of devices are shrinking by a factor of two. And if we look at this trend, it tells us that ten, fifteen years from now the size of computers, or the transistors themselves, will be the size of atoms. And at the time that we reach the size of the atom, the rules with which we will manipulate the information will be the rules of quantum mechanics, instead of the role of classical mechanics.

Narrator: Laflamme and his group recently created an experimental, seven-qubit quantum computer within a single drop of liquid. Although a functional quantum computer is still years away, this latest advance seems to be following the flow of Moore's Law.

Laflamme: So in the future, if you want to have computers which become incredibly much faster than what we have today, we'll have to go also in the quantum regime.

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