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­.s. Air Force Funds Super-Fast, Secure Computing


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innovative components

Air Force Office of Scientific Research-supported physicists at the University of Michigan are developing innovative components for quantum, or super-fast, computers that will improve security for data storage and transmission on Air Force systems.

Credit: Bo Sun / University of Michigan

The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) is supporting University of Michigan (UM) physicists' development of components for quantum computers that will enhance security for data storage and transmission on Air Force systems.

UM professor Duncan Steel and his team initially investigated methods to optically produce and maintain quantum coherence using a single electron or hole in a quantum dot structure. A probable key element for long-term success is sustaining a consistent electrical charge for an extended period of time in a solid-state nanostructure. The researchers' next challenge has been exploring how to manipulate the electrical charge to carry out basic computing tasks, and the team has been better able to control and maintain information through the demonstration of well-defined "spin and phase" quantum properties.

The researchers have successfully learned how to optically manipulate and measure the spin of an extra electron in a quantum dot in cooperation with Naval Research Laboratory collaborators. Steel's research has yielded new insights into how spin and phase information is lost and how that loss can be reduced, enabling the research team to demonstrate an increase in quantum storage time. When coupled with ultra-fast laser technology, this boost will support more than 1 million quantum operations prior to information loss.

"State-of-the-art frequency, stabilized lasers, and the advanced laser control system, developed with AFOSR support, will make optical control possible from this time forth," Steel says.

From Air Force Print News (DC)
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