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Conventional memories used in today’s computers only differentiate between the bit values 0 and 1. In quantum physics, however, arbitrary superpositions of these two states are possible. Most of the ideas for new quantum technology devices rely on this “Superposition Principle”. One of the main challenges in using such states is that they are usually short-lived. Only for a short period of time can information be read out of quantum memories reliably, after that it is irrecoverable.

A research team at TU Wien has now taken an important step forward in the development of new quantum storage concepts. In cooperation with the Japanese telecommunication giant NTT, the Viennese researchers lead by Johannes Majer are working on quantum memories based on nitrogen atoms and microwaves. The nitrogen atoms have slightly different properties, which quickly leads to the loss of the quantum state. By specifically changing a small portion of the atoms, one can bring the remaining atoms into a new quantum state, with a lifetime enhancement of more than a factor of ten. These results have been published in the journal “Nature Photonics”. (1)

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Science, scientific method, knowing...

The atoms are everywhere. Changing all the time. But we want them to be somewhere. In order to control them. In order to keep information there.

Because we want to create memories.

In an ever changing world, we want to find stability. Even though everything changes all the time, we want them to follow stable rules, patterns, certain paths. Inside everything, we need something. We seek constancy in an ever turbulent cosmos.

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Because we need to be able to remember. To know.

And the weird thing is that we do know. Even though it seems we cannot find stability, we somehow find it. Because we do remember. Because we Are. Something we do not fully grasp now. And yet, we feel it. The world is not what it seems to be. The world can stop moving. The world can stop changing. The world can come to a halt.

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As long as we decide it.

As long as we stop trying.

As long as we accept it is already stable…

See the stars moving.

They are not.

Yes, now I remember!

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