"A team from the university has developed a microcircuit based on previously published research, claiming it is the key component of quantum computing." " A team at the University of Sydney (USyd) working with Microsoft, alongside Stanford University in the US, has announced the development of a miniaturised component touted as essential for the scale-up of quantum computing. According to the university, the work represents the first practical application of a new phase of matter that was first discovered in 2006, "topological insulators", which are materials that operate as insulators in the bulk of their structures, but have surfaces that act as conductors. "Manipulation of these materials provide a pathway to construct the circuitry needed for the interaction between quantum and classical systems," explained USyd in a statement. As a result, USyd said they are vital for building a practical quantum computer. The Sydney team developed a microwave circulator, which acts like a traffic roundabout by ensuring that electrical signals only propagate in one direction, clockwise or anti-clockwise, as required. "Similar devices are found in mobile phone base-stations and radar systems, and will be required in large quantities in the construction of quantum computers," the university added....................." Quote Source: Microsoft and USyd claim invention of key quantum computing component | ZDNet Frome same article: Prototype microwave circulator next to an Australian five cent piece. Image: Steven Waddy/University of Sydney IMHO, once computijng advances far enough - Alien contact will become possible, maybe even probable!