Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > NIST Mechanical Micro-Drum Used as Quantum Memory

Colorized image of 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
Colorized image of 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

Abstract:
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.

NIST Mechanical Micro-Drum Used as Quantum Memory

Boulder, CO | Posted on March 15th, 2013

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. Vol. 495 p. 210. March 14, 2013. doi:10.1038/nature11915.

####

About National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Laura Ost
303-497-4880

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

** Read about SEAC at:

*** See July 6, 2011, NIST news announcement, "Cooler Than Ever: NIST Mechanical Micro-Drum Chilled to Quantum Ground State," at:

Related News Press

News and information

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Physics

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

Superconductivity: After the scenario, the staging August 20th, 2016

Superconductivity: After the scenario, the staging August 20th, 2016

Laboratories

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules: Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples August 21st, 2016

Scientists uncover origin of high-temperature superconductivity in copper-oxide compound: Analysis of thousands of samples reveals that the compound becomes superconducting at an unusually high temperature because local electron pairs form a 'superfluid' that flows without resist August 19th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New theory could lead to new generation of energy friendly optoelectronics: Researchers at Queen's University Belfast and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have created a new theoretical framework which could help physicists and device engineers design better optoelectronics August 23rd, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Memory Technology

Magnetic atoms arranged in neat rows: FAU physicists enable one-dimensional atom chains to grow August 5th, 2016

New metamaterials can change properties with a flick of a light-switch: Material can lead to new optical devices August 3rd, 2016

Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature: Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage July 25th, 2016

Research team led by NUS scientists develop plastic flexible magnetic memory device: Novel technique to implant high-performance magnetic memory chip on a flexible plastic surface without compromising performance July 21st, 2016

Quantum Computing

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

Prototype chip could help make quantum computing practical: Built-in optics could enable chips that use trapped ions as quantum bits August 9th, 2016

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future: Electrified quantum diamond can become the heart of quantum networks and computers of the future August 7th, 2016

Record-breaking logic gate 'another important milestone' on road to quantum computers August 7th, 2016

Discoveries

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Announcements

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Military

Nanoparticles that speed blood clotting may someday save lives August 23rd, 2016

Curbing the life-long effects of traumatic brain injury August 19th, 2016

Lab team spins ginger into nanoparticles to heal inflammatory bowel disease August 19th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic