Recently, a surprising accident happened in a laboratory, which led to a breakthrough in physics. Its emergence not only solved a problem that lasted for more than half a century, but also had a significant impact on the development of quantum computers and sensors.
Nuclear magnetic resonance pioneer Nikolay Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize in physics for laser spectroscopy, put forward an idea in 1961. He thought we might be able to control the nucleus of a single atom with just one electric field.
However, this goal has not been achieved for many years. Until recently, in a paper published in nature, a group of Australian engineers announced that they had achieved this feat unexpectedly.
Andrea Morello, a professor of Quantum Engineering and co-author of the paper, said the discovery shakes the paradigm of nuclear magnetic resonance and means that we now have a way to build quantum computers using the spin of a single atom. This method does not need any oscillating magnetic field to operate.
In addition, we can use these nuclei as extremely accurate electric and magnetic field sensors, or use them to answer basic questions in quantum science. Nuclear magnetic resonance is one of the most widely used techniques in modern physics, chemistry, even medicine and mining.
It can be said that nuclear magnetic resonance is a very effective technology for many applications. However, for some specific applications, it is disadvantageous to rely on the magnetic field to control and detect the nucleus.
“This landmark result will open up a treasure house of discovery and application,” Professor morrow said The system we created is complex enough to allow us to study how the classical world was born out of a quantum field.
In addition, we can make use of its quantum complexity to construct electromagnetic field sensors with greatly improved sensitivity. All of this can be controlled in a simple silicon electronic device by applying a small voltage to the metal electrode.
It is worth mentioning that Andrea Morello is not only a professor of Quantum Engineering Science at the University of New South Wales, but also a project manager at Sydney’s Centre for advanced technologies in quantum computing and communications, which is dependent on the University of New South Wales.
In August 2017, she established the first quantum computing company in Australia, silicon quantum computing Ltd., to promote the development and commercialization of quantum computers.