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Physicists in the Netherlands say they have succeeded in manipulating the state of a quantum bit (or qubit) by simply adjusting the strength of the technique they used to measure it. The method, which involves using an ancilla (or helper) qubit and a novel quantum “non-demolition” readout, can be used to “steer” the measured qubit’s state to a desired state. The work is not only of interest for fundamental physics, but could also be important for future quantum computers and for improving the sensitivity of magnetic field sensors.


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