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Quantum particles can be difficult to characterize, and almost impossible to control if they strongly interact with each other—until now.
An international team of researchers led by Princeton physicist Zahid Hasan has discovered a quantum state of matter that can be "tuned" at will—and it's 10 times more tuneable than existing theories can explain. This level of manipulability opens enormous possibilities for next-generation nanotechnologies and quantum computing.
"We found a new control knob for the quantum topological world," said Hasan, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. "We expect this is tip of the iceberg. There will be a new subfield of materials or physics grown out of this. ... This would be a fantastic playground for nanoscale engineering."
This has implications for nanotechnology research especially in developing sensors. At the scale of quantum technology, efforts to combine topology, magnetism and superconductivity have been stymied by the low effective g factors of the tiny materials.
"The fact that we found a material with such a large effective g factor, meaning that a modest magnetic field can bring a significant effect in the system—this is highly desirable," said Hasan. "This gigantic and tunable quantum effect opens up the possibilities for new types of quantum technologies and nanotechnologies."
Scientists have developed a topological photonic chip to process quantum information, promising a more robust option for scalable quantum computers.
The research team, led by RMIT University's Dr Alberto Peruzzo, has for the first time demonstrated that quantum information can be encoded, processed and transferred at a distance with topological circuits on the chip. The research is published in Science Advances.
The breakthrough could lead to the development of new materials, new generation computers and deeper understandings of fundamental science. In collaboration with scientists from the Politecnico di Milano and ETH Zurich, the researchers used topological photonics - a rapidly growing field that aims to study the physics of topological phases of matter in a novel optical context - to fabricate a chip with a 'beamsplitter' creating a high precision photonic quantum gate.
Very exciting when experiment outruns theory. Perhaps the 0.4K picotorr setup can be shrunk, domesticated and even manufactured to permit this new effect to be used in many labs. These more-isolated-from-the-environment conditions would enable finding and applying not only the tunability from enhanced gyromagnetic factor and unusual square/parallelogram symmetry of the recent discovery, but potentially allow discovering other new quantum behaviors, e.g. in 1D and 3D systems, that only show up under those conditions. Perhaps sensors will be the first application but I think someone will find a way to turn these new effects to advantage in quantum computing, certainly the cryo and magnetic capabilities of their equipment would be useful..
"The electrons decided to reorient themselves," Hasan said. "They ignored the lattice symmetry. They decided that to hop this way and that way, in one line, is easier than sideways. So this is the new frontier. ... Electrons can ignore the lattice and form their own society."
originally posted by: moebius
a reply to: Osirisvset
Well, the only one claiming "a real explosion in advanced technology, far beyond what we presently have" is the OP.
It is an interesting discovery. But as stated in the article "a lot of follow-up work needs to be done" to see where it leads.