Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diamonds Is The New Geek's Best Friend

On April 23, 2011 Devin Powell author of ScienceNews wrote an article about how diamonds could store data by manipulating atoms inside the stone, which in turn could encode information as 0s and 1s simultaneously functioning as a quantum memory. This eventually, a "possible hope" of  the beginning of quantum computers will start solving problems that today are not possible with current technology.

But every good idea has its problems.

The diamond is composed of pure carbon crystals which won't do the job. One of the most common defects of a diamond is the presence of Nitrogen atoms that makes the stone yellow.

When a nitrogen atom sits next to a vacant spot in the carbon crystal, the intruding element provides an extra electron that moves into the hole. Several years ago, scientist learned how to change the spin of such electrons using microwave energy and put them to work as quantum bits or also called qbits.

Diamond memory has several advantages: It works at room temperature, it's very stable, and it can be scaled up to larger sizes. David Awschalon of the University of California, Santa Barbara, discussed the technique at the American Physical Society's March meeting in Dallas, Texas.

If everything is solved all right and scientist actually managed to solve the nitrogen problem correctly, this will revolutionize quantum systems. Many quantum systems today require temperatures close to absolute zero, the greatest advantage of  the diamond memory in my opinion is that it works fine at room temperature, meaning that the memory won't overheat at all and won't be needing any cooling system that goes almost below zero temperature.

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