Building quantum computations from a single electron spin

I’m currently in San Francisco for my younger brother’s wedding, but that doesn’t stop me from providing science content to you, dear readers. (Ahem.) Researchers have figured out a way to read and manipulate the quantum spin state of a single electron—a classic example in quantum computing that up until now has existed only in theoretical calculations.

By embedding a phosphorous atom in silicon, the researchers used this contrast to isolate the properties of a single electron orbiting the atom. They massaged the electron spin into a particular state using microwaves to drive the system. Varying the microwave pulses, the researchers could cause the electron spin to flip in a controlled fashion. [Read more….]

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