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Lunch & Learn: Toward Quantum Computing with Zahid Hasan

ICboard.jpgImagine a computer that made direct use of quantum mechanical phenomena. Such a machine would likely operate exponentially faster than our present computers.
Zahid Hasan is leading an international scientific collaboration that has observed an exciting and strange behavior in electrons’ spin within a new material that could be harnessed to transform computing and electronics. The team believes that the discovery is an advance in the fundamental physics of quantum systems and could lead to significant progress in electronics, computing and information science.
The team has been searching for a material whose atoms, when placed in certain configurations, would trigger electrons to produce exotic “quantum” effects. In the Feb. 13 issue of Science, the team reported that the quantum Hall effect, a phenomena in condensed-matter physics, can occur within a carefully constructed crystal made of an antimony alloy laced with bismuth. The behavior involves a strange form of rotation that could potentially transform computing and storage.

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