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
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?