Rice-sized laser bodes well for quantum computing

January 15, 2015 7:40 PM

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Princeton Univ. researchers have built a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. The tiny microwave laser, or "maser," is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.

The researchers built the device—which uses about one-billionth the electric current needed to power a hair dryer—while exploring how to use quantum dots, which are bits of semiconductor material that act like single atoms, as components for quantum computers.

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