Authors: George Rajna
Information technologies of the future will likely use electron spin—rather than electron charge—to carry information. But first, scientists need to better understand how to control spin and learn to build the spin equivalent of electronic components, from spin transistors, to spin gates and circuits.  In the quest to make computers faster and more efficient, researchers have been exploring the field of spintronics—shorthand for spin electronics—in hopes of controlling the natural spin of the electron to the benefit of electronic devices.  When two researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) announced in April that they had successfully simulated a 45-qubit quantum circuit, the science community took notice: it was the largest ever simulation of a quantum computer, and another step closer to simulating "quantum supremacy"—the point at which quantum computers become more powerful than ordinary computers.  Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College, have discovered a new topological material which may enable fault-tolerant quantum computing.  The central idea of TQC is to encode qubits into states of topological phases of matter (see Collection on Topological Phases).  One promising approach to building them involves harnessing nanometer-scale atomic defects in diamond materials.  Based on early research involving the storage of movies and documents in DNA, Microsoft is developing an apparatus that uses biology to replace tape drives, researchers at the company say.  Our brains are often compared to computers, but in truth, the billions of cells in our bodies may be a better analogy. The squishy sacks of goop may seem a far cry from rigid chips and bundled wires, but cells are experts at taking inputs, running them through a complicated series of logic gates and producing the desired programmed output.  At Caltech, a group of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Lulu Qian is working to create circuits using not the usual silicon transistors but strands of DNA. 
Comments: 53 Pages.
[v1] 2017-07-13 13:44:51
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