Researchers have discovered a methodology to understand the quantum mechanical behavior of electrons which are contained in flaws of diamond. Scientists shot repeated pulses of lasers in a region of diamond which contained a nitrogen atom and this made it possible to control the quantum state of a single electron.
This path breaking discovery has immense potential in Quantum Computing. The conventional computing has been restricted to binary system where data could be stored in the form of 0 or 1.While a rigid aspect of computing ignores the fact that information or data is usually in a more complex, quantum state.
F. Joseph Heremans, a University of Chicago postdoctoral scholar, and co-lead author on the paper said, “It’s quite a versatile technique, providing a full picture of the excited state of the quantum defect. Previous work on the nitrogen-vacancy center has hinted at some of these processes, but here, simply through the application of these ultrafast pulses, we get a much richer understanding of this quantum beast.”
Quantum computing technology enables computers to work at incredible speeds and the technology also evoked keen interest in the military establishment especially the Air Force which also partly funded the project. The technology has immense security implications for example it could be used for code breaking. Quantum computing also could perform complex calculations in a jiffy.
The Quantum Technology uses light to transfer an electron from a ground state to an excited state. The team researched a quantum mechanical property of the electron which is known as spin.
Researchers focused a pulsating laser beam on a naturally occurring flaw in diamond known as Nitrogen Vacancy or the NV center. The scientists were able to capture the snapshots of the state of the Atom in its quantum state. The first pulse activates the atom while the second pulse deactivates the atom enabling the scientists to capture the minute differences across the atoms quantum spin.
The latest discovery will enable researchers to develop computers which can process information at incredible speeds.