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May 5th, 2005
As the ever-increasing power of computer chips brings us closer and closer to the limits of silicon technology, many researchers are betting that the future will belong to "spintronics": a nanoscale technology in which information is carried not by the electron's charge, as it is in conventional microchips, but by the electron's intrinsic spin.
If a reliable way can be found to control and manipulate the spins, these researchers argue, spintronic devices could offer higher data processing speeds, lower electric consumption, and many other advantages over conventional chips--including, perhaps, the ability to carry out radically new quantum computations.
Now, University of Notre Dame physicist Boldizsar Janko and his colleagues believe they have found such a control technique.
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