(Purdue.edu) On the frontier of quantum computing, scientists are exploring how electronic excitations – collective behavior of many electrons acting in concert– behave differently in comparison to ordinary electrons. At least some of these properties may be useful for quantum information processing.
These fractionalized electrons, known as fractional quantum Hall quasiparticles, could become the basis for a type of quantum computing known as topological quantum computing in which the basic pieces of information, known as qubits, are less susceptible to environmental interference.
Michael Manfra, the Bill and Dee O’Brian Chair Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University, also a professor of materials engineering, and electrical and computer engineering, is involved in a newly announced $37 million effort by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Science to study and advance the emerging field of quantum information science. Manfra’s research team will conduct experiments using a nanoscale device, called an interferometer, that creates an interference pattern to try to probe the properties the fractional quantum Hall quasiparticles.

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