100 ans de supraconductivité

CHICAGO – L'entreprise canadienne D-Wave Systems vient de vendre à Lockheed-Martin le premier ordinateur quantique - une machine qui utilise la magie des phénomènes quantiques pour fonctionner incroyablement plus vite que les ordinateurs d'aujourd'hui à base de puce au silicium. La qualification de "quantique" a parfois été contestée à cet ordinateur, mais ses concepteurs ont publié des articles soumis à l'examen des pairs dans des revues spécialisées qui démontrent que ce nouvel ordinateur est basé sur des bits quantiques supraconducteurs.

Ce printemps a marqué le 100° anniversaire de la découverte de la supraconductivité, la capacité d'un matériel à transporter le courant électrique sans perte. Un courant circulant dans un câble supraconducteur peut se maintenir durant des années sans baisse mesurable.

A cause de cette propriété, les supraconducteurs ont des caractéristiques uniques qui peuvent avoir de nombreuses applications. Ils peuvent supporter des intensités de courants énormes, ce qui en fait un moyen idéal pour alimenter les grandes villes en électricité. Et si on en fait des bobines ils peuvent générer des champs magnétiques extrêmement puissants.

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