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February 15, 2023

Closer To Quantum Goals

Physicists from the University of Rochester have developed a new method of controlling electron spin, paving the way for efficient quantum computing.

Credit: U.S. National Science Foundation

Quantum science has the potential to revolutionize the modern world. From processing data to predicting weather, to picking stocks or even discovering new pharmaceuticals, quantum computers could solve countless problems by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics to process information too complex for traditional computers.

Challenges remain in achieving our quantum computing goals, but work is being done to move us closer. We'll explore the quantum realm of computing in the U.S. National Science Foundation's "Discovery Files."

Traditional computers consist of billions of transistors, called bits. Quantum computing instead use quantum bits, or qubits. Unlike ordinary transistors which can either be "zero" (off) or “one” (on), Qubits, are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics and can be both at the same time.

Quantum computing requires precise controls, needed to manipulate information in these advanced systems. Supported in part by NSF, physicists at University of Rochester have developed a new method for controlling the electron spin in silicon quantum dots.

These silicon dots make ideal qubits due to their capabilities and ability to scale for manufacturing. Using a voltage pulse, the researchers were able to harness the spin-valley coupling effect and manipulate the states to control the electron spin.

Controlling data processing in silicon quantum dots is essential for their use and creates a new pathway for processing information in quantum computers.

To hear more science and engineering news, including the researchers making it, subscribe to "NSF's Discovery Files" podcast.

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