Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .




CHIP TECH
NIST mechanical micro-drum used as quantum memory
by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) Mar 14, 2013


This is a colorized image of the NIST micro-drum and circuit on a sapphire backing. JILA researchers demonstrated that the drum might be used as a memory device in future quantum computers. Credit: Teufel/NIST.

One of the oldest forms of computer memory is back again-but in a 21st century microscopic device designed by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for possible use in a quantum computer.

The NIST team has demonstrated that information encoded as a specific point in a traveling microwave signal-the vertical and horizontal positions of a wave pattern at a certain time-can be transferred to the mechanical beat of a micro-drum and later retrieved with 65 percent efficiency, a good figure for experimental systems like this. The research is described in the March 14 issue of Nature.*

"We believe the mechanical drum motion could be used as a kind of local memory for quantum information systems," NIST physicist Konrad Lehnert says. "These experiments live at the boundary between classical and quantum systems."

The technique harks back to "delay line memory" that was used in some of the earliest electronic computers, including NIST's own 1950s computer, SEAC.** Those devices were fairly simple. They temporarily stored values during computation in the form of acoustic waves traveling down a column of mercury or other fluid. By contrast, the NIST micro-drum memory would exploit a mechanical form of quantum physics.

NIST scientists introduced the micro-drum in 2011. The micro-drum is embedded in a resonant circuit and can beat at different frequencies.

By applying microwaves at specific frequencies, researchers can achieve rapid, reliable exchanges between the circuit's electrical energy, in the form of microwave photons (light particles), and the drum's mechanical energy in the form of phonons (units of vibration).

An applied microwave tone can cool the drum down to its lowest-energy ground state, with less than one quantum of energy-the quantum regime, where the drum can store and convert quantum information.

The same interaction transfers information from microwaves in the circuit to the drum, while converting the drum to a temporary state beating at the received frequencies. A key innovation in the latest experiments is the ability to rapidly switch the circuit-drum interactions on and off based on the intensity of the applied microwave tone.

The drum has certain practical advantages as a quantum storage device. Its size and fabrication method are compatible with the devices used for chip-based superconducting quantum bits (qubits), which might be used to represent information in quantum computers.

The drum also can retain quantum information for about the same length of time as superconducting circuits can. Quantum computers would rely on the rules of quantum mechanics, nature's rules for the submicroscopic world, to potentially solve important problems that are intractable using today's technology.

In the latest experiments, the quantum information is stored in the amplitude (vertical position) and phase (horizontal position) of the microwave pulse, or waveform, similar to the way some cellular telephones work, Lehnert says. Although this is a classical approach, the experiments are quasi-quantum because the fluctuations, or "noise," in the measurements are quantum mechanical, Lehnert says.

In 8,000 tries, the research team was able to prepare, transfer, store and recapture information 65 percent of the time. This is a good level of efficiency given the early stage of global research on quantum memories; competing quantum memory devices include special crystals and, in nonsolid systems, atomic gases.

In the future, researchers plan to combine qubits with the micro-drum, which could serve as either a quantum memory or as an interface between otherwise incompatible systems such as those operating at microwave and optical frequencies. The advance may benefit fundamental physics experiments, quantum information systems and precise force sensing.

The experiments were performed at JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder, and co-authors include physicists from NIST's Boulder campus. The research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation and NIST.

* T.A. Palomaki, J.W. Harlow, J.D. Teufel, R.W. Simmonds and K.W. Lehnert. Coherent state transfer between itinerant microwave fields and a mechanical oscillator. Nature. March 14, 2013.; ** Read about SEAC here.; *** See July 6, 2011, NIST news announcement, "Cooler Than Ever: NIST Mechanical Micro-Drum Chilled to Quantum Ground State,"

.


Related Links
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

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




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





CHIP TECH
Quantum computing moves forward
Princeton NJ (SPX) Mar 13, 2013
New technologies that exploit quantum behavior for computing and other applications are closer than ever to being realized due to recent advances, according to a review article published this week in the journal Science. These advances could enable the creation of immensely powerful computers as well as other applications, such as highly sensitive detectors capable of probing biological ... read more


CHIP TECH
Breaking the final barrier: room-temperature electrically powered nanolasers

New Technique Creates Stronger, Lightweight Magnesium Alloys

Novel technique for chemical identification at the nanometer scale developed

Aspirin may lower melanoma risk

CHIP TECH
Boeing Ships 5th WGS Satellite to Cape Canaveral for 2013 Launch

INTEROP-7000 uses ISSI to link IP-based voice comms with legacy radio

Space race under way to create quantum satellite

Boeing Receives USAF Contract for Integrated C4ISR Targeting Solution

CHIP TECH
Vega receives its upper stage as the next mission's two primary passengers land in French Guiana

Grasshopper Successfully Completes 80M Hover Slam

Musk: 'I'd like to die on Mars'

Ariane 5 vehicle for next ATV resupply mission in Kourou

CHIP TECH
Galileo fixes Europe's position in history

China city searching for 'modern Marco Polo'

Milestone for European navigation system

China targeting navigation system's global coverage by 2020

CHIP TECH
As F-35 costs soar, Boeing enters the fray

Boeing, KLM Demonstrate New Technologies to Optimize Flight

Singapore in 'final stages' of evaluating F-35

Embraer urges quick resolution of US contract challenge

CHIP TECH
New distance record for 400 Gb/s data transmission

NIST mechanical micro-drum used as quantum memory

Quantum computing moves forward

Creating indestructible self-healing circuits

CHIP TECH
Significant reduction in temperature and vegetation seasonality over northern latitudes

GOCE: the first seismometer in orbit

Japan's huge quake heard from space: study

Space station to watch for Earth disasters

CHIP TECH
Little faith in China leaders' pollution promises

Dead pigs contaminating Chinese river?

Toxic gas leak in South Korea, 11 hospitalised

Japan warns about smog drifting from China




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal 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. 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