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Archive – February 2010

Just as the heartbeats of today's electronic devices depend on the ability to switch the flow of electricity in semiconductors on and off with lightning speed, the viability of the "spintronic" devices of the future -- technologies that manipulate both the flow and magnetic "spin" of electrons -- will require similarly precise control over semiconductor magnetism. Achievement of this goal necessitates a detailed understanding of what happens at the exact transition point when a semiconductor
A major hurdle in the ambitious quest to design and construct a radically new kind of quantum computer has been finding a way to manipulate the single electrons that very likely will constitute the new machines' processing components or "qubits." Princeton University's Jason Petta has discovered how to do just that -- demonstrating a method that alters the properties of a lone electron without disturbing the trillions of electrons in its immediate surroundings. The feat is essential to the de