The experimental field of quantum computing has become fertile ground for abstract but fascinating technology, and a recent paper from Nature is no exception. As part of research on reducing decoherence, or outside interference that affects quantum bits or qubits, a group of scientists has built a quantum computer housed within a diamond. Specifically, a pair of qubits were housed in the diamond's imperfections, and a prototype "nuclear spin" system periodically reset and recoupled them in order to reduce interference.

Like most quantum computers, this latest project is more of a proof of concept than anything else. Although they hold great promise for computing, the computers also are difficult to scale up, and must be able to deal with qubits that last only fractions of a second. This research on decoherence could help make it possible for large numbers of qubits to work together without being affected by heat or other factors. Scientists will just need to defend their sparkly computer from the inevitable Bond villains and cat burglers.