Researchers at the University of Michigans Center for Optical Coherent and Ultrafast Science (FOCUS) and Department of Physics have reported the first demonstration of laser-cooling of individual trapped atoms of different species. This may be an important step in the construction of a future "quantum computer," in which quantum superpositions of inputs are processed simultaneously in a single device. Trapped atoms offer one of the only realistic approaches to precisely controlling the complex quantum systems underlying a quantum computer.
The demonstration is described in the April 2002 issue of Physical Review in an article, "Sympathetic Cooling of Trapped Cd+ Isotopes," by Boris B. Blinov, Louis Deslauriers, Patricia Lee, Martin J. Madsen, Russ Miller, and Christopher Monroe. Partially based on these results, Monroe has proposed a new "Architecture for a Large-Scale Ion-Trap Quantum Computer," with co-authors David Kielpinski (MIT) and David Wineland (National Institute of Standards and Technology), in the June 13 issue of the journal Nature.
Interest in quantum computing has mushroomed in the last decade as its potential for efficiently solving difficult computing tasks, like factoring large numbers and searching large databases, has become evident. Encryption and its obverse, codebreaking, are just two of the applications envisioned for quantum computing if and when it becomes a practical technology. Quantum computation has captured the imagination of the scientific community, recasting some of the most puzzling aspects of quantum physics---once pondered by Einstein, Schroedinger and others---in the context of advancing computer science. "Right now, theres a lot of black magic involved in understanding what makes a quantum computer tick and how to actually build one," Monroe said. "Many physicists doubt well ever be able to do it, but Im an optimist. We may not get there for decades, but given enough time and resources---and failing unexpected roadblocks like the failure of quantum mechanics---we should be able to design and build a useable quantum computer. Its a risky business, but the potential payoff is huge."
Judy Steeh | EurekAlert
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22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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