University of Michigan scientists have created the first quantum microchip, using an ion trap to isolate individual charged atoms and manipulate their quantum states. To isolate an ion, scientists confine it in the ion trap while applying electric fields. Laser light manipulates the spin of the ion’s free electron to flip it between quantum states. The new chip, which is made of gallium arsenide, should be easily scaled and mass-produced, because it’s made using microlithography — the same process that makes microchips.
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