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Single-Shot Readout of a Single Nuclear Spin

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Science  30 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5991, pp. 542-544
DOI: 10.1126/science.1189075

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Probed But Not Perturbed

The processing and manipulation of quantum information holds great promise in terms of outperforming classical computers and secure communication. However, quantum information is delicate, and even reading the information is a destructive and probabilistic process requiring a number of measurements to home in on the information stored as a quantum state. For the nitrogen vacancy in diamond, Neumann et al. (p. 542, published online 1 July) show that these limitations can be eliminated. A measurement protocol was designed and implemented where the spin state of the nuclear spin of the vacancy could be mapped onto and read out from the surrounding electronic spins in a single-shot measurement nondestructively.