Feeds

Boffins snare swollen 'excited giant' in forcefield prison

Ponderomotive prison cells could make quantum computers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Boffins in Michigan say they have created a promising "quantum gate" for use in literally and figuratively hard-to-grasp quantum computers of the future.

The scientists achieved this, put simply, by tickling a soft-metal Rubidium atom with frikkin laser beams until its outer valence shell became highly excited and the atom swelled up to giant size - 100 times as big as normal, though obviously, being an atom, still pretty tiny. Atoms in this condition are known as "Rydberg" atoms, after the 19th century Swede famous for swelling to giant size after being hit by an energy ray his knowledge of exotic atoms.

Having created their freakish, excited giant the boffins snared it in a "crate made of interfering laser beams" according to a statement released by Michigan uni. This optical lattice force cage affair works by seizing the atom's embulgenated outer valence shell using a "ponderomotive force" field.

"The laser field holds on to the electron, which behaves almost as if it were free, but the residual weak atomic binding force still holds the atom together. In effect, the entire atom is trapped by the lasers," explains Georg Raithel, Michigan physics prof.

Such excited giant trapped atoms would apparently be ideal for use in "neural atom quantum computing schemes". Quantum computers, working on "qubits" which are not 1 or 0 but could be either or any value between, have long been a goal of boffinry. This is because, once built, they would be able to do various intriguing things - breaking crypto nowadays considered uncrackable, for example.

Raithel and his team have a new paper out on their atom-bulgening ponderomotive field prison in the current Physical Review Letters. Their website is here. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms
Is that an ARMADILLO in your PANTS or are you just pleased to see me?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.