Quantum Physics


Atomic Switches for Electricity

Authors: George Rajna

A revolutionary and emerging class of energy-harvesting computer systems require neither a battery nor a power outlet to operate, instead operating by harvesting energy from their environment. [18] In 1959 renowned physicist Richard Feynman, in his talk "Plenty of Room at the Bottom," spoke of a future in which tiny machines could perform huge feats. Like many forward-looking concepts, his molecule and atom-sized world remained for years in the realm of science fiction. [17] The race towards quantum computing is heating up. Faster, brighter, more exacting – these are all terms that could be applied as much to the actual science as to the research effort going on in labs around the globe. [16] For the first time, scientists now have succeeded in placing a complete quantum optical structure on a chip, as outlined Nature Photonics. This fulfills one condition for the use of photonic circuits in optical quantum computers. [15] The intricately sculpted device made by Paul Barclay and his team of physicists is so tiny it can only be seen under a microscope. But their diamond microdisk could lead to huge advances in computing, telecommunications, and other fields. [14] Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) have, for the first time, converted the color and bandwidth of ultrafast single photons using a room-temperature quantum memory in diamond. [13] One promising approach for scalable quantum computing is to use an all-optical architecture, in which the qubits are represented by photons and manipulated by mirrors and beam splitters. So far, researchers have demonstrated this method, called Linear Optical Quantum Computing, on a very small scale by performing operations using just a few photons. In an attempt to scale up this method to larger numbers of photons, researchers in a new study have developed a way to fully integrate single-photon sources inside optical circuits, creating integrated quantum circuits that may allow for scalable optical quantum computation. [12]

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[v1] 2016-10-29 10:18:43

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