Scientists store and retrieve data inside an atom

Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 12:03 AM EST

Another step towards quantum computing – the Holy Grail of data processing and storage – was achieved when an international team of scientists that included researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) were able to successfully store and retrieve information using the nucleus of an atom.

In a paper entitled: “Solid-state quantum memory using the 31P nuclear spin,” published in the October 23 issue of the journal Nature, the team described an experiment in which exceptionally pure and isotopically controlled crystals of silicon were precisely doped with phosphorus atoms. Quantum information was processed in phosphorus electrons, transferred to phosphorus nuclei, then subsequently transferred back to the electrons. This is the first demonstration that a single atomic nucleus can serve as quantum computational memory.

At sflorg.com

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