Molecular engineers record an electron’s quantum behavior

August 15, 2014 11:52 PM

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Molecular engineers record an electron’s quantum behavior

A University of Chicago-led team of researchers has developed a technique to record the quantum mechanical behavior of an individual electron contained within a nanoscale defect in diamond. Their technique uses ultrafast pulses of laser light, both to control the defect’s entire quantum state and observe how that single electron state changes over time. The work appears in this week’s online Science Express and will be published in print later this month in Science.

This research contributes to the emerging science of quantum information processing, which demands that science leave behind the unambiguous universe of traditional binary logic—0 or 1—and embrace the counterintuitive quantum world, in which electrons can be in many states at once.

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