In a project that started ten years ago, an international team of researchers has attained a “100-fold increase” in the capacity to control electron spin within a solid material. Researchers Stephen Lyon and Alexei Tyryshkin are now able to control the spins of billions of electrons for as much as 10 seconds, which far exceeds previous attempts.
The achievement is considered to be an important milestone in the race toward developing ultrafast quantum computers. Those involved with the project underscored that this is only a step toward a working computer.
How might scientists and others make use of such computers? It’s hard to say at this stage, but some believe a quantum computer could help with factoring massive numbers, breaking codes, or even simulating molecular behavior.
Dig into the details at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/pues-tdo011612.php [an expanded version is available on ’s website].
© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.