Sunday, June 3, 2007

Diamonds could be key to quantum memory

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Scientists at Harvard University discovered that Carbon-13 atoms in diamonds can be used to create a stable and controllable quantum mechanical memory and a small quantum processor, often referred to as quantum register.

The research, published in this week’s Science magazine, makes use of spinning properties of atomic nuclei to encode quantum bits. Apparently, experiments with a single spinning nuclei of Carbon-13 resulted in a stable quantum computing building block at room temperatures.

In quantum research, nuclear spins are known for their characteristics as tiny magnets with high stability. However, so called “spintronics” requires weak interactions of such spins, as information is lost through contact with virtually any other object. But the fact that spins are almost perfectly isolated, makes it impossible to address and manipulate individual nuclei.

According to the Harvard research, that Carbon-13 atoms, however, can be manipulated through nearby single electrons, whose own spin can be controlled with optical and microwave radiation. The scientists believe that the single electron's spin can “act as a very sensitive magnetic probe with extraordinary spatial resolution.”

The controlled interaction between the electron and nuclear spins is creating a single, isolated quantum bit (qubit) and allows the Carbon-13 nuclei to be used as what was described a “very robust quantum memory"...

Source : TGDaily

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