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When the computer is operational, five casings (like the white one shown at the top of the image) envelop the machine. These cans nest inside each other and act as thermal shields, keeping everything super cold and vacuum-sealed inside.
These photon-carrying cables deliver signals to and from the chip to drive qubit operations and return the measured results.
Beneath the heat exchangers sits the “mixing chamber.” Inside, different forms of liquid helium—helium-3 and helium-4—separate and evaporate, diffusing the heat.
These gold plates separate cooling zones. At the bottom, they plunge to one-hundredth of a Kelvin—hundreds of times as cold as outer space.
The QPU (quantum processing unit) features a gold-plated copper disk with a silicon chip inside that contains the machine’s brain.