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Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Science |

Nobel awarded to advance quantum computing

Nobel awarded to advance quantum computing

Physicists Serge Haroche, the College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, and David J Wineland, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Colorado, won the in Physics for developing a way to trap, manipulate and study of light and matter particles without destroying them. This is an important step in the development of quantum computing.

According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, won by “revolutionary experimental methods to measure and manipulate individual quantum systems”. Both share a prize of SEK 8 million (USD $ 1.2 million).

Although the behavior of light rays can be described by the classical laws of physics, these rules do not apply to tiny levels, when we talk about atoms, electrons or photons. At this level there are new rules, known as quantum mechanics, which become really important for example in the world of chips that become increasingly smaller, where just a few atoms or electrons are used to store one bit, or the world of communication systems with optical fiber, where a few photons composing a light pulse.

Working with light and matter at the level of particles was unthinkable before they develop physical stop solution to choose, manipulate and measure individual photons and ions, allowing a microscopic world know that until recently was only in theory. Haroche and Wineland took a first step, allowing individual particles to isolate and observe and measure their quantum behavior without influence them or destroy them.

The researchers arrived at solutions to achieve catch particles independently in the 1980s. While Wineland used electric fields to trap charged atoms in low temperature and vacuum Haroche light particles caught between superconductors cooled mirrors just above absolute zero, at -273° C.

Link: Physics Nobel goes to Serge Haroche and David Wineland (BBC)

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