If we're ever going to create the next-gen quantum computers that promise to solve complex and difficult problems at super-fast speeds, first we'll need to a means to manipulate atoms individually. So researchers from Duke and the University of Wisconsin have figured out how to do exactly that. Collaborators from those universities have demonstrated a laser system that can aim and focus tiny bursts of light onto single atoms without affecting other neighboring particles. One of the more promising approaches to quantum computing - that is, computers that use quantum mechanical phenomena like entanglement to perform operations - is to suspend atoms in electromagnetic fields and use lasers to manipulate their states to carry out computations. But doing so requires a high degree of precision; a laser must be able to focus in on a particular atom without disturbing the states of other atoms in the system. Related ArticlesFirst Solid-State Quantum Computer...
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