In a stunning scientific achievement that could open the way for Moore’s Law to continue indefinitely, Australian scientists have created the first working quantum bit out of a single atom in silicon. The next step is to put two of these quantum bits together to form a logic gate, which opens the path for supercomputers to operate on a quantum processor.
In a paper published today in Nature, the team details how it was able to control both the spin of a single electron. The electron in question was bound to a phosphorus atom. The scientists used a microwave field to control the electron, which was implanted next to a silicon transistor. The atom was precisely placed by Dr. David Jamieson through a process that makes even high-precision electronics like smartphones seem like they were put together with wood glue.
As team leader Dr. Andrea Morello noted, “This is the quantum equivalent of typing a number on your keyboard… Our technology is fundamentally the same as is already being used in countless everyday electronic devices, and that’s a trillion-dollar industry.” Whoa. Can’t wait until the iPhone 36 comes out with a quantum processor emitting microwaves.
Image courtesy of Tony Melov
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