Single-Atom Transistor Created for Quantum Computer

Researchers have isolated a single phosphorus atom and placed it atop a silicon crystal with more precision than ever before. We are one step closer to achieving a quantum computer.

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers have isolated a single phosphorus atom and placed it precisely where they wanted to—atop a silicon crystal. The achievement is part of a ten-year project at the University of New South Wales to advance the science of quantum computing. Physics professor Jeremy Levy says the team's precision is important to the quantum computing effort "because 'qubits'—the fundamental building blocks of a quantum computer—must be carefully isolated from the rest of their environment." 

What's the Big Idea?

Quantum computing remains a theoretical possibility since interacting with any quantum system causes it to 'decohere'. "In other words, the qubit turns into an ordinary bit. If you want to build a quantum computer, you have to—among other things—isolate its qubits from their surrounding environment." However, the new advance could help create smaller conventional transistors, helping to keep Moore's law alive, which has accurately predicted the doubling of computer power every 18 months.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less