Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have proved, for the first time, that the lifetime of quantum-computing bits can be extended. In their experiment, they showed that by applying specially timed magnetic pulses to qubits, made of beryllium ions, they could prolong the life of the quantum bits from about one millisecond to hundreds of milliseconds. The work is described in this week's Nature.

The realization of a universal quantum computer that can carry out arbitrary computations remains a long term goal. But the technologies developed so far enable us to perform so called quantum simulations. Here assemblies of directly controllable quantum particles form models for complex systems which are difficult to manipulate. A new, promising technique was now developed in the group of Professor Gerhard Rempe at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching.

FACULTY OF MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
SCHOOL OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
CHAIR IN QUANTUM INFORMATION SCIENCE

The intrinsic rotation of electrons - the "spin" - remains unused by modern electronics. If use as an information carrier were possible, the processing power of electronic components would suddenly increase to a multiple of the present capacity. In cooperation with colleagues from Dortmund, St. Petersburg and Washington, Bochum physicists have now succeeded in aligning electron spin, bringing it to a controlled "waver" and reading it out. The electron spin can also be realigned as required at any time using optical pulses.

ArXiv identifier: 
0901.4454
Speakers: 
Martin Plenio
Authors: 
Filippo Caruso, Alex W. Chin, Animesh Datta, Susana F. Huelga, Martin B. Plenio

Transport of excitations through networked systems plays an important role in many areas of physics, chemistry, and biology. The uncontrollable interaction of the transmission network with a noisy environment is usually assumed to deteriorate its transport capacity, especially so when the system is fundamentally quantum mechanical. Here we identify key mechanisms through which dephasing noise, contrary to expectation, may actually aid transport through a dissipative network.