Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Future 'quantum computers' will offer increased efficiency... and risks

07.03.2008
UCF Professor makes unique discovery, may revolutionize encryption technology

An unusual observation in a University of Central Florida physics lab may lead to a new generation of “Quantum Computers” that will render today’s computer and credit card encryption technology obsolete.

The observations are documented this week in the online version of Nature Physics under Advance Online Publication (http://www.nature.com/nphys/index.html ). The title of UCF Professor Enrique del Barco’s paper is “Quantum Interference of Tunnel Trajectories between States of Different Spin Length in a Dimeric Molecular Nanogmagnet.”

Consumers, credit card companies and high-tech firms rely on cryptography to protect the transmission of sensitive information. The basis for current encryption systems is that computers would need thousands of years to factor a large number, making it very difficult to do.

However, if del Barco’s observation can be fully understood and applied, scientists may have the basis to create quantum computers -- which could easily break the most complicated encryption in a matter of hours.

Del Barco said the observation may foster the understanding of quantum tunneling of nanoscale magnetic systems, which could revolutionize the way we understand computation.

“This is very exciting,” del Barco said. “When we first observed it, we looked at each other and said, ‘That can’t be right.’ We did it again and again and we achieved the same result every time.”

According to quantum mechanics, small magnetic objects called nanomagnets can exist in two distinct states (i.e. north pole up and north pole down). They can switch their state through a phenomenon called quantum tunneling.

When the nanomagnet switches its poles, the abrupt change in its magnetization can be observed with low-temperature magnetometry techniques used in del Barco’s lab. The switch is called quantum tunneling because it looks like a funnel cloud tunneling from one pole to another.

Del Barco published paper shows that two almost independent halves of a new magnetic molecule can tunnel, or switch poles, at once under certain conditions. In the process, they appear to cancel out quantum tunneling.

“It’s similar to what can be observed when two rays of light run into interference,” del Barco said. “Once they run into the interference you can expect darkness.”

Controlling quantum tunneling shifts could help create the quantum logic gates necessary to create quantum computers. It is believed that among the different existing proposals to obtain a practical quantum computer, the spin (magnetic moment) of solid-state devices is the most promising one.

“And this is the case of our molecular magnets,” del Barco said. “Of course, this is far from real life yet, but is an important step in the way. We still must do more research and a lot of people are already trying to figure this out, including us. It’s absolutely invigorating.”

Co-authors of the paper are Christopher Ramsey from UCF, Stephen Hill from the University of Florida and Sonali J. Shah, Christopher C. Beedle and David N. Hendrickson from the University of California at La Jolla.

Del Barco, who is a native of Spain, began teaching at UCF in 2005. He got a Ph. d degree from the University of Barcelona before moving onto New York University where he worked with Andrew Kent, a well-known quantum physicist.

It was the warm weather and the dynamic of UCF that drew him and his family to UCF. Aside from teaching physics and working on research, Del Barco is a published writer. He penned a science fiction novel that has been published in Spain by Editorial Equipo–Sirius. He collaborates with scientists from around the world including researchers in Spain, Hong Kong and across the United States.

Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucf.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>