Researchers Develop Permanent Magnetic Cooling System for Quantum Computers

Alexander Regnat, Prof. Christian Pfleiderer, Jan Spallek and Tomek Schulz with their cooling system for extremely low temperatures. Credit: W. Schürmann / TUMAlexander Regnat, Prof. Christian Pfleiderer, Jan Spallek and Tomek Schulz with their cooling system for extremely low temperatures. Credit: W. Schürmann / TUM

Researchers from the Physics Department at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) announced this week that they developed a “permanent magnetic cooling system” for quantum computers that can bring the temperature in which qubits operate close to absolute zero.

Permanent Magnetic Cooling for Quantum Computers

Extremely low temperatures, such as those around the absolute zero value (0 Kelvin or about -273 degrees Celsius) are required for sensitive quantum operations. The cooler the temperature in which the qubits operate, the more stable the qubits are. Stability of qubits is critical for long-term usage of quantum computing systems.

Right now, quantum computing systems use liquified gases to cool down to extremely low temperatures. Before, to reach constant absolute zero temperatures an extremely rare and expensive isotope, helium-3, had to be used.

There are other magnetic cooling systems that can reach the required temperatures, but they only work for a limited time period. The TUM researchers’ solution is said to be permanent.

Magnetic Cooling System to Be Commercialized

As more companies and governments are becoming interested in developing quantum computing system these days, the demand for solutions that can keep those systems at such low temperatures has also increased at a rapid pace.

The TUM researchers, including Alexander Regnat, Jan Spallek, Tomek Schulz and Professor Christian Pfleiderer, have already created their own start-up company, kiutra, that will be selling the technology to those who are interested.

"We are the world's first commercial supplier of a cooling system that can magnetically achieve temperatures close to absolute zero (near -273°C) on a permanent basis. Our great advantage is that we do not need expensive helium-3. All we need is electricity," Regnat said in a statement. 

The team is already looking for new hires to accelerate the project's development.

5 comments
    Your comment
  • Giroro
    I wonder if they can use it their widget to condense helium-3 from the atmosphere
  • bit_user
    Quote:
    Researchers from the German Technical University of Munich developed a permanent magnetic cooling system for quantum computers, making them more practical.

    A bit thin on details, here. Exactly what do they mean by "permanent"? I guess that you can run it indefinitely?

    So, does it use some kind of ferrous particles, and somehow completely suspend their motion, in a magnetic field? I wonder whether/how that magnetic field might interact with the quantum computer, since I've read they're extremely sensitive to disturbance from EMI.
  • bit_user
    Quote:
    I wonder if they can use it their widget to condense helium-3 from the atmosphere

    Wikipedia says "accounts for 7.2 parts per trillion of the atmosphere." So, I'm skeptical that atmospheric extraction would ever be viable.