Ohio University scientists who hope to use quantum dots as the building blocks for the next generation of computers have found a way to make these artificial atoms communicate. They found that when the dots were arranged at a distance from each other greater than the radius of the dots, light waves traveled between the nanocrystals coherently. In previous research, the light’s wavelength would change or become irregular during the energy exchange, which creates a breakdown in communication between quantum dots. The results suggest that there could be a way to transmit information using light waves, laying the groundwork for a possible optical quantum computer. The applications of the new quantum dot technology also could include medical imaging. Quantum dots could be injected into the patient, and a device containing more quantum dots could be used to show the position of dots under the skin.