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Quantum Computers

Raising the prospects for quantum levitation

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 18, 2012) — An eerie quantum force may one day help separate the surfaces in tiny machines for frictionless movement. More than half-a-century ago, the Dutch theoretical physicist Hendrik Casimir calculated that two mirrors placed facing each other in a vacuum would attract. The mysterious force arises from the energy of virtual particles flitting into and out of existence, as described by quantum theory. Now Norio Inui, a scientist from the University of Hyogo in Japan, has predicted that in certain circumstances a reversal in the direction of the so-called Casimir force would be enough to levitate an extremely thin plate.

His calculations are published in the American Institute of Physics' (AIP)...

Microprocessors from graphene: Discoveries may advance electronic circuit technology

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TechAndComputer (Mar. 30, 2012) — Graphene could become the next big thing in the quest for smaller, less power-hungry electronics. Physicists are making discoveries that may advance electronic circuit technology.

Resembling chicken wire on a nano scale, graphene -- single sheets of graphite -- is only one atom thick, making it the world's thinnest material. Two million graphene sheets stacked up would not be as thick as a credit card.

The tricky part physicists have yet...

Neutrons uncover new density waves in fermion liquids

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TechAndComputer (Mar. 29, 2012) — Scientists discover zero-sound mode oscillations in super-chilled helium. Scientists working at the Institut Laue-Langevin have carried out the first investigation of two-dimensional fermion liquids using neutron scattering, and discovered a new type of very short wave-length density wave. The team believe their discovery, published in Nature, will interest researchers looking at electronic systems, since high-temperature superconductivity could result...

World's smallest radio stations: Two molecules communicate via single photons

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 28, 2012) — We know since the dawn of modern physics that although events in our everyday life can be described by classical physics, the interaction of light and matter is down deep governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Despite this century-old wisdom, accessing truly quantum mechanical situations remains nontrivial, fascinating and noteworthy even in the laboratory. Recently, interest in this area has been boosted beyond academic curiosity because of the...

Quantum microphone captures extremely weak sound

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 27, 2012) — Scientists from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a new kind of detector for sound at the level of quietness of quantum mechanics. The result offers prospects of a new class of quantum hybrid circuits that mix acoustic elements with electrical ones, and may help illuminate new phenomena of quantum physics.

The results have been published in Nature Physics.

The "quantum microphone" is based on a single electron...