Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 8th Sep 2006 04:09 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have devised a potentially groundbreaking theory demonstrating how to control the spin of particles without using superconducting magnets - a development that could advance the field of spintronics and bring scientists a step closer to quantum computing.
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Thats cool
by gustl on Fri 8th Sep 2006 12:16 UTC
gustl
Member since:
2006-01-19

They managed to spinpolarize electrons without outside magnets and without accelerating the electrons close to light speed so that an electric field "looks" to the electron like a magnetic field.

Thats awsome!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Thats cool
by RandomGuy on Fri 8th Sep 2006 13:29 UTC in reply to "Thats cool"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Absolutely!
From what I understood they use L-shaped gallium arsenide (a semiconductor mainly used for high speed circuits) to control the spin.
Maybe we can roughly compare this to water flowing around a corner and getting some spin.
Ok, vague picture but everything concerning QM is vague ;)

I'm not sure if quantum computing would cause more harm or good. It means not just that processors get faster but that a complete new range of problems (NP-hard) becomes solvable because quantum superpositions allow to try all alternatives simultaniously.
This would probably render encryption useless except, of course, quantum encryption which alerts you when a third person is listening.

Reply Score: 1

Consider the parallel
by KenJackson on Fri 8th Sep 2006 19:59 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

“We believe we've discovered a much simpler way for inducing spin polarization,” he added. “We don't need a big magnet. The only requirement in our case is an electrical current in the sample, which is much easier to achieve than putting the sample in a magnetic coil. For an electrical current, you only need two contacts.”

I can't help but compare this with the transition from vacuum tubes to transistors. Back in 1947 Bell found out that you don't need a heater and a vacuum, you can make electrons tunnel through a PN juction barrier. I wonder what advances these new "transistors" will bring.

Reply Score: 2

Can you imagine...
by Tuishimi on Fri 8th Sep 2006 22:08 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...how small the iPod will get? iPod "Nano" will have new meaning. ;)

Reply Score: 1