Harnessing the Power of a Single Photon to Move Electrons. The Quantum Dynamics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology has demonstrated microwave influence of electrons.
The team of researchers trapped electrons in a super-cooled, vacuum-sealed chamber where the electrons were bombarded with microwaves. The particles and microwave photons “altered each other’s movement and exchanged energy, which suggests the sealed system could potentially be used to store quantum information – a microchip of the future.”
“The Quantum Dynamics Unit traps a 2-D layer of electrons in liquid helium, held inside a sealed chamber and cooled to nearly absolute zero. Inside the chamber, a metal plate and spherical mirror on the top reflect microwave light (the red beam), and thus form a microwave cavity (resonator). The trapped microwaves interact with the electrons floating on the liquid helium.” Image Credit: OIST)
Future work is anticipated to produce a liquid helium system which allows precise control over electrons. Such control would permit reading, writing and processing quantum information, akin to how a classical computer hard drive stores and accesses data.
The findings may help improve quantum computing. “With enhanced understanding of this system, the Quantum Dynamics Unit aims to improve upon the industry standard for qubits – bits of quantum information. Their efforts may lead to the development of faster, more powerful quantum technologies.”