Theoretically, quantum computers could outperform regular computers at everything. We're talking smaller, faster machines that talk to each other without lag time. Spock would give his ear for one of these machines.
The problem is ... well, there are a lot of problems to solve before you'll see quantum computers sold by Dell. Although one company did announce it had built the first quantum computer, only to back down under criticism.
But we're a step closer, thanks to a research team from the Joint Quantum Institute in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
The team found a way to create a quantum logic gate using an "optical lattice," according to an article in New Scientist. This approach is new because it uses neutral atoms, as opposed to ions, which had been demonstrated previously.
The team called it a "proof of principle," so I suppose it's more of a demonstration than a locked-down solution.
The article explains the details of how and why it works.