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Physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics succeeded in manipulating atoms individually in a lattice of light and in arranging them in arbitrary patterns. These results are an important step towards large scale quantum computing and for the simulation of condensed matter systems.

Physicists around the world are searching for the best way to realize a quantum computer. Now scientists of the team around Stefan Kuhr and Immanuel Bloch at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching/Munich) took a decisive step in this direction. They can now address and change the spin of single atoms with laser light and arrange them in arbitrary patterns. In this way, the physicists strung the atoms along a line and could directly observe their tunneling dynamics in a “racing duel” of the atoms. A register of hundreds of addressable quantum particles could serve for storing and processing of quantum information in a quantum computer.

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Category: Science