Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



CHIP TECH
Sorting machine for atoms
by Staff Writers
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Feb 10, 2017


The physicists from University of Bonn at their sorting machine for Atoms (from left): Dr. Andrea Alberti, Carsten Robens, Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede, Dr. Wolfgang Alt and Stefan Brakhane. Image courtesy Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn.

Physicists at the University of Bonn have cleared a further hurdle on the path to creating quantum computers: in a recent study, they present a method with which they can very quickly and precisely sort large numbers of atoms. The work has now been published in Physical Review Letters.

Imagine you are standing in a grocery store buying apple juice. Unfortunately, all of the crates are half empty because other customers have removed individual bottles at random. So you carefully fill your crate bottle by bottle. But wait: The neighboring crate is filled in exactly the opposite way! It has bottles where your crate has gaps. If you could lift these bottles in one hit and place them in your crate, it would be full straight away. You could save yourself a lot of work.

Unfortunately, such solutions don't (yet) exist for half-empty drinks crates. However, physicists at the University of Bonn want to sort thousands of atoms however they like in the future in this way - and in a matter of seconds. Around the world, scientists are currently looking for methods that enable sorting processes in the microcosm.

The proposal by Bonn-based researchers could push the development of future quantum computers a crucial step forward. This allows atoms to interact with each other in a targeted manner in order to be able to exploit quantum-mechanical effects for calculations. In addition, the particles have to be brought into spatial proximity with one another.

Magnetized atoms on optical conveyor belts
The physicists are using a special property of atoms to create their sorting machine: These rotate around their own axis like little spinning tops. The direction of rotation - the spin - can be influenced with microwaves. The physicists thus initially set all of the atoms off in the same direction of rotation in their experiment.

In this state, it was possible to load the particles onto a laser beam. However, beforehand, they had to manipulate the laser in such a way that it matched the spin of its particles - a process known as polarization. The atoms were then held by the polarized laser beam in such a manner that they were unable to move. Every particle occupies a particular place on the laser beam - similar to the bottles in the crate.

However, like in the drinks crate, some of the places in the laser beam are also unoccupied. "We thus reversed the direction of rotation in a very targeted manner for individual atoms," explains Dr. Andrea Alberti, the team leader at the Institute of Applied Physics of the University of Bonn.

"These particles were then no longer captured by our laser beam. However, we were able to grab them with a second, differently polarized laser beam and thus move them as desired.

The transport beam can, in principle, move as many atoms as one likes at the same time. As this takes place, they retain their position to each other. As in the example with the bottles, several particles can thus be lifted at once and placed in the gaps between other atoms in one go. "Our sorting method is thus extremely efficient," explains the lead author of the study, Carsten Robens.

"It does not make any major difference whether we are sorting hundreds or thousands of atoms - the time needed only increases slightly." For the moment, the researchers only worked with four atoms in their experiment, which is now being published.

In principle, the method is suitable for creating any atom pattern. This makes it interesting for solid-state physicists, for instance, to investigate the behavior of semiconductor crystals under certain conditions.

Carsten Robens, Jonathan Zopes, Wolfgang Alt, Stefan Brakhane, Dieter Meschede, and Andrea Alberti: Low-entropy states of neutral atoms in polarization-synthesized optical lattices; Physical Review Letters


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of Bonn
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
CHIP TECH
Mail armor inspires physicists
Karlsruher, Germany (SPX) Feb 10, 2017
The Middle Ages certainly were far from being science-friendly: Whoever looked for new findings off the beaten track faced the threat of being burned at the stake. Hence, the contribution of this era to technical progress is deemed to be rather small. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), however, were inspired by medieval mail armor when producing a new metamaterial with novel ... read more


CHIP TECH
NASA to develop oxygen recovery technologies for future deep space missions

Art and space enter a new dimension

Russia's first private space tourism craft flight test set for 2020

Next SpaceX mission will deliver slew of experiment payloads to ISS

CHIP TECH
Airbus Safran Launchers: 77th consecutive successful launch for Ariane 5

SpaceX blasts off cargo from historic NASA launchpad

SpaceX aborts launch after 'odd' rocket engine behavior

Airbus Safran Launchers: 77th consecutive successful launch for Ariane 5

CHIP TECH
Opportunity passes 44 kilometers of surface travel after 13 years

Scientists say Mars valley was flooded with water not long ago

Scientists shortlist three landing sites for Mars 2020

ISRO saves its Mars mission spacecraft from eclipse

CHIP TECH
Chinese cargo spacecraft set for liftoff in April

China looks to Mars, Jupiter exploration

China's first cargo spacecraft to leave factory

China launches commercial rocket mission Kuaizhou-1A

CHIP TECH
Iridium Announces Target Date for Second Launch of Iridium NEXT

Italy, Russia working closely on Mars exploration, Earth monitoring satellites

NASA seeks partnerships with US companies to advance commercial space technologies

A New Space Paradigm

CHIP TECH
Most stretchable elastomer for 3-D printing

After 15 years, SABER on TIMED Still Breaks Ground from Space

ANU scientists make new high-tech liquid materials

Curtiss-Wright offers COTS Module for measuring microgravity acceleration

CHIP TECH
Exoplanetary moons formed by giant impacts could be detected by Kepler

The heart of a far-off star beats for its planet

Astronomy team finds more than 100 exoplanet candidates

Possibility of Silicon-Based Life Grows

CHIP TECH
NASA receives science report on Europa lander concept

New Horizons Refines Course for Next Flyby

It's Never 'Groundhog Day' at Jupiter

Public to Choose Jupiter Picture Sites for NASA Juno




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement