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Memo to the developers of superfast quantum computers: give up on the familiar 1s-and-0s binary system used in conventional computers. By switching to a novel five-state system, you will find it easier to build the staggeringly powerful machines.
By firing microwave photons of five different frequencies into the circuit, they were able to encourage it to jump between five discrete energy levels. "We also developed a quantum measuring technique that can distinguish between all of these levels," says Neeley.
Because, in probabilistic terms, the qudit's five quantum states are able to exist simultaneously, the team had a working qudit on their hands.