Scrapbooks or social networks are collections of mostly unsorted data.

Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now quantum mechanically implemented and successfully executed Glover's algorithm, a process for the quick finding of a search element in unsorted databases.

Their results are reported in the Physical Review Letters.

Special quantum systems that promise to solve certain tasks more quickly than a classical computer, however, are already playing an important role in science.

To reliably find a certain element in unsorted data, a conventional computer has to run through all search elements successively in the most unfavorable case.

Research teams headed by Professors Wolfgang Wernsdorfer and Mario Ruben of KIT, together with scientists of the Institut Néel (Grenoble), have succeeded in doing this: The scientists applied Grover's algorithm to a molecular magnet and, thus, created a quantum system, whose task is the rapid finding of search elements in unsorted data.

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