Physics

An atomic ring around the rosie

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Science  06 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6359, pp. 77-78
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6359.77-e

Although quantum computers are expected to be vastly better at certain tasks than classical ones, they must also simultaneously perform sophisticated error control and correction. Using topologically protected states could reduce this baggage, but finding a viable physical implementation is tricky. Dai et al. engineered an interacting system of bosonic atoms on a square plaquette that could serve as a basis for creating topological states. The researchers had to carefully control the exchange interactions between the atoms to bring out the so-called ring exchange that involved all four atoms on a plaquette. It is expected that further technological progress could lead to scaling up this system into a network of coupled plaquettes with more dominant ring-exchange interactions.

Nat. Phys. 10.1038/NPHYS4243 (2017).

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