Creating Tough and Resistant, Topological Qubits. Arguably, the topological qubit is considered the best quantum bit for maintaining given quantum information and is key to quantum computing moving ahead.
Scientists at Purdue University believe they have developed a new research tool capable of probing interference of ‘quasiparticles’. These particles are borne of interaction of fundamental particles coming together to form new particles — quasiparticles.
“Observing and measuring [the quasiparticles] experimentally has been a challenge… To study particles this small, Purdue’s group builds teeny, tiny devices using a crystal growth technique that builds atomic layer by atomic layer, called molecular beam epitaxy. The devices are so small that they confine electrons to two dimensions. Like a marble rolling around on a tabletop, they can’t move up or down… If the device, or ‘tabletop,’ is clean and smooth enough, what dominates the physics of the experiment is not electrons’ individual actions, but how they interact with each other.”
To minimize the individual energy of particles, the team cooled them down to extremely low temperatures nearing absolute zero. The electrons were subjected to a large magnetic field. Exposing the particles to extremely cold temperatures, confinement to two dimensions, and exposure to a magnetic field, “really strange physics started to happen.” Known to physicists as the fractional quantum hall regime, the Purdue team’s results could help in the development of topological qubits.
“As far as we know, this is the only viable platform for trying to do more complex experiments that may, in more complicated states, be the basis of a topological qubit,” team lead touts. “We’ve been trying to build these for a while, with the end goal of validating some of these very strange properties. We’re not all the way there yet, but we have shown this is the best way forward.”
Photo Caption: “A new device created by Purdue physicists has experimentally shown quasiparticles interfering for the first time.” (Image Credit: James Nakamura/Purdue University)