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Discovery of a "Flat" Atom Hailed as Quantum Computing Breakthrough

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the breakthroughs-by-mistake dept.

Encryption 205

msw writes to tell us that nanoelectronics researchers have discovered a new molecule that could act as a state-manipulable atom due to its unique shape and properties. "Imagine a tiny arsenic atom embedded in a tiny strip of silicon atoms. An electric current is applied. Something strange arises on the surface -- an exotic molecule. On one end is the spherical submerged arsenic atom; on the other end is an 'artificial' flat atom, seemingly 2D, created as an artifact. The pair form an exotic molecule, which has a shared electron, which can be manipulated to be at either end, or in an intermediate quantum state."

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Quick !! Couple the quantum inverters !!! (5, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035477)

and unleash them on the flux capacitor !!! we are getting into quantum artifact business.

Sure (0, Offtopic)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035479)

Include large quantities of arsenic in my computer. I mean, what could possibly go wrong!

Not sure, but sounds tasty (5, Funny)

azzuth (1177007) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035573)

Next time you think about putting your new quantum motherboard in your mouth think again.

Re:Not sure, but sounds tasty (-1, Offtopic)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036037)

If I was from Control, you'd already be dead.

Re:Sure (4, Insightful)

Romancer (19668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035587)

Uh, two points:

1. There already exists an issue with the amount of toxic chemicals in most computers today.
http://maine.gov/dep/rwm/recycle/computerrecy.htm [maine.gov]
"A typical processor and monitor contain five to eight pounds of lead and heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and arsenic."

2. When you are dealing with quantum levels a gram of any element has a lot of area to work in and they are suspending the toxic bit with a field of silicon.
"Imagine a tiny arsenic atom embedded in a tiny strip of silicon atoms..."

Re:Sure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035665)

Killjoy.

Mod grandparent 'troll', not 'insightful' (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035781)

More like "troll." This is like criticizing someone who salts their fries for adding chlorine to the environment.

Re:Mod grandparent 'troll', not 'insightful' (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035847)

I use salt made with recycled chlorine rather than the less environmentally friendly brand-new chlorine.

Re:Mod grandparent 'troll', not 'insightful' (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036301)

All those hippy potters, happily throwing salt onto their ceramic bongs and beer mugs, getting that cool sodium glaze, allowing all the freed chlorine up into the sky...

Re:Mod grandparent 'troll', not 'insightful' (1)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036733)

Ever seen that low-sodium alterno-salt? Supposed to be healthier by having less Na in it, but NaCl with the Na removed just makes chlorine... which is toxic... which is bad.

(I assume they actually replace the sodium chloride with some other chloride that tastes the same, or possibly just some inert white crystal that they pretend is salt)

Re:Sure (5, Informative)

geekwithsoul (860466) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035809)

"typical monitor" when this was written was a CRT. I'd hardly call a CRT a "typical" purchase for anyone anymore. I got rid of my last one four years ago, and I'm not even sure I know anyone who still has one. Hell, most non-gamers I know don't even own a desktop PC. I'm not saying there aren't still hazardous materials in today's PC, I'm just saying its a hell of a lot less than "five to eight pounds."

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035841)

Most of that lead is now in the solder used in the circuit boards.

Re:Sure (3, Informative)

Henneshoe (987210) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035929)

With RoHS firmly in place, there is no lead in the solder of almost any circuit board built post 2006.

Re:Sure (2, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036785)

So since I work in the office support industry I can attest to seeing way more CRTs than LCDs in use by the cubicle users. I has been getting much better but they're still out there and in use, and for sale at best buy and pc connection type stores. CDW sells them online and in catalog. They have a 15" viewsonic for 129.00 in stock even.

The point I was making was that the hardware out there has had toxic chemicals inside for quite a while and probably in greater quantities than we can expect from quantum manipulation tech in the future.

Re:Sure (4, Insightful)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035995)

There is nothing wrong with using toxic substances. The problem is how you process it, and recycle or dispose of it. I'm sure the car you drive to work has a serious amount of Toxins. We only need to be sure that we allow a proper reclaim process.

A good example is the lead acid battery in your car. You get charged $5 for every new battery that you buy if you don't recycle the old one.

Re:Sure (2, Interesting)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036385)

>There is nothing wrong with using toxic substances...

Yep, it's even in the tapwater you drink, use to cook and wash and brush your teeth.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/arsenic.cfm [organicconsumers.org]

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036229)

My computer doesn't weight five to weight pounds total...

Re:Sure (1)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036249)

A typical processor and monitor contain five to eight pounds of lead and heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and arsenic.

Considering that a typical LCD monitor weights less than ten pounds (no idea actually, but they're light) I find it hard to believe that they'd be made almost fully out of lead.
And a processor? Unless you're speaking of something other than a CPU, mine doesn't get anywhere near those weights.

Youngsters (4, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035615)

Back in my day, the President of the United States declared that arsenic counted as a vegetable in our school lunches, and although we didn't much like the taste, we all did our part to defeat the commies and make the world free. And this is the thanks the next generation has for us -- gettin' all uppity about using it in computers. Sheesh!

Re:Youngsters (1)

pdxp (1213906) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036827)

You mean.... soylent green is ARSENIC?

Re:Sure (3, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036017)

Ever drive through Missouri? If so, ever smell almonds? Well, afaik there are no almond trees in Misouri. That's pesticide you smell - arsenic.

TFA and TFS are referring to incredibly tiny amounts of arsenic, not large quantities, and they would be actually be inside the chips. I can't see how they would pose a danger to anyone.

Um, your comment was pretty ignorant but it was on topic, have the mods been smoking arsenic?

Re:Sure (3, Funny)

burtosis (1124179) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036223)

and they would be actually be inside the chips. I can't see how they would pose a danger to anyone.

Puts away salsa

What?

Quantum State (5, Informative)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035489)

Don't you mean indeterminate quantum state? The electron can't be in an intermediate state since there are only two possible states.

Re:Quantum State (5, Funny)

Romancer (19668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035533)


He meant to say interdeterminatable.

Re:Quantum State (0, Flamebait)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035685)

I think "interdeterminatable" refers to the Bush state.

Re:Quantum State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035961)

I'm confused. Isn't he The Decider? [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Quantum State (4, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036057)

Yes, the electron has been interdeterminaterized

Re:Quantum State (3, Funny)

colinbrash (938368) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036655)

Of course, to get it back you are going to need a disinterdeterminaterizer.

Re:Quantum State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036563)


He meant to say interdeterminatable.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Quantum State (4, Informative)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035567)

qubits have 3 possible states 1 0 and indeterminate. Thus it is a breakthrough in quantum computing and not just regular computing. The indeterminate state is defined as a superposition of the two other states. And indeed it is a real, though not particularly well defined state for the electron to be in.

Re:Quantum State (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035617)

I propose that we rename "indeterminate state" to "undead cat state", just because it sounds cooler and (sorta) makes sense.

Re:Quantum State (1)

catalina (213767) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036625)

I propose that we rename "indeterminate state" to "undead cat state", just because it sounds cooler and (sorta) makes sense.

How about "decatenated"? And on resolution, "concatenated"

Re:Quantum State (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035835)

The indeterminate state is defined as a superposition of the two other states.

So that makes this indeterminate state .5?

Re:Quantum State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035935)

So that makes this indeterminate state .5?

No, it means "1 or 0."

Re:Quantum State (3, Funny)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036583)

Quantum Computing is going to seriously mess with those who worked so hard to accept that (1 OR 0) = 1.

Re:Quantum State (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036811)

Quantum Computing is going to seriously mess with those who worked so hard to accept that (1 OR 0) = 1.

The people it will really mess with those who worked so hard to accept that NOT(0)=1 and NOT(1)=0.

Re:Quantum State (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036315)

Maybe?

yes, no, duh (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035945)

How is indeterminate different from unknown?

In any analog system without hysteresis, and thus many digital systems too, you go through an unknown state as you transition from low to high.

IIRC, which I probably don't, quantum computing's indeterminate state is a bit more than just "unknown". It allows the calculation to be done with essentially "wildcard bits" that, when resolved magically give us the answer. THis essentially allows multiple parallel calculations. Unknown does not give us that.

Re:yes, no, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036353)

In normal physics probability of getting 1 or 0 when you measure one of those indeterminate states is a real value.

In quantum world it turns out to be a complex number. The a classical (real-valued) probability is it's absolute value. Another model uses negative numbers (from [-1,1]) which avoids using complex numbers, but makes computations more complex^W complicated.

like the CMOS tristate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035989)

3 states of CMOS

Hi => 3.0 v
Lo => 0.7 v
Z => High Impedance

Re:Quantum State (5, Insightful)

sfazzio (1227616) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036049)

qubits have 3 possible states 1 0 and indeterminate.

Not true! Qubits have an infinite number of possible states. Imagine that your classical bit is represented as either an arrow pointing up for 1 and an arrow pointing down as -1. A quantum bit is like an arrow that can be pointed in the up direction, the down direction, or any other direction (it basically constrained to the surface of a sphere).

Re:Quantum State (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036329)

You and yur durn chaos gods...

Re:Quantum State (1)

sfazzio (1227616) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036657)

that -1 should have been a 0. Sorry.

Re:Quantum State (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036807)

Technically it has only two states (0 and 1) but is always in a superposition of the available states. Different superpositions have different mixes of the two states ranging from "pure" superpositions with only 0 or 1 in them to mixed states with equal amounts of 0 and 1 and everything in between.

(Even this doesn't tell the whole story because there are constraints on how the states can mix (the sum of their squares must be unit) and we also can have "negative" amounts of states (only indirectly observable because direct observation takes the square of the wave function).)

Re:Quantum State (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036089)

Don't you mean indeterminate quantum state?

Well, that's indeterminate... [angryflower.com]

Re:Quantum State (1)

cmat (152027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036589)

I think he meant "unconceivable" state.

What do they mean by an "atom"? (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035509)

I suspect that they mean some kind of artifact that behaves like an atom for certain useful purposes, but without explaining what that artifact is and what makes it behave like an atom they're not actually explaining anything.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (4, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035797)

Yeah, the title of this should be "found a flat 'atom'" which should be in quotes, not the "flat" part.

The artifact is definitely flat, but the "atom" is a virtual one. Much like an atom of Positronium, where an electron is circling around a positron (anti-electron). Positronium acts chemically exactly like Hydrogen, because chemistry is based on the electron shell, not the actual atom inside (the different elements are all distinguished by how many electrons they have in orbit, as well how much or little they want to keep electrons.)

So, this "atom" that they're referring to doesn't actually exist as a "physical" object, but rather it's an artifact as you mentioned, and if an electron were to just kind of oddly orbit around an empty space, chemically, it's a hydrogen atom.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (3, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035957)

Ah, now it makes more sense.

And now for something completely different...

And to demonstrate that there is nothing so weird that the quacks won't latch onto it, when I googled on Positronium I discovered that someone is claiming that they have a homeopathic remedy created from the decay of Positronium.

http://www.hominf.org/posi/posifr.htm [hominf.org]

Such gems as Since positronium is made up of both particle and anti-particle, it assumes a position mid way between matter and anti-matter. When it decays, it is converted into a pulse of pure energy. This threefold state has been picked up by a number of provers for whom the number 3 was prevalent in dreams and waking experiences. It also provides a convenient way to arrange and "map" (to see the map, a visual representation of the remedy, click here) the symptoms and themes of the proving, as we shall see later.

Holy mother of Mendeleev, what a load of collywobbles.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036097)

Jesus! Where is this guy even GETTING positronium.

According to Wikipedia, Positronium has three different lifetimes depending upon how the positron is compared to the atom. Either picoseconds, or at best, they think about 1.1 millisecond.

Unless this guy is making his positronium _IN_ the water... hell, it won't even MAKE it to the proving phase where you bang it...

Not to mention positrons are extremely expensive... we've spent millions if not billions of dollars on anti-mater, and we've made maybe a gram. Such that we don't even know the half-life of positronium... we can't get enough of it to EVEN TEST THAT. (That means, even two positronium atoms, lol)

So, not like it's hard to figure out that this guy is talking out of his butt (he's a homeopath) but this is even easier than most of their "all-natural cures"... of course it's all-natural, US law requires that it be distilled until there is only solute left... yes, water is "all-natural", thanks jerks... you make bottled water look like charity.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

mshannon78660 (1030880) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036769)

Positrons are relatively easy to make (or at least acquire from a certain radioactive isotopes) - the difficulty is in holding on to them, and getting the electrons to orbit, rather than collide with the positrons. Interestingly, it's not quite an analog of hydrogen - you'd need to use an anti-proton and an electron for that. But it is very close, and positrons are much easier to acquire than anti-protons.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036725)

Positronium is a real atom. It behaves just like hydrogen (almost) chemically, but it is a real atom.

This thing is not... it seems to be more akin to your electron circling nothing example.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035825)

Rereading your comment:

The new molecule was first discovered by Sven Rogge and his colleagues at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. His team was experimenting on impurities in nano-scale transistors. They found that a single atom was transporting electrons, but could not find the impurity responsible. It turned out it was not an impurity, but a synthetic atom with an unknown proton/neutron character, created by the electrical current. The exotic atom was flat and formed a molecule with an arsenic atom on the transistor.

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035849)

So what does "a synthetic atom with an unknown proton/neutron character" mean?

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (3, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036131)

It means that chemically, there is an "atom" there, but that no one knows what is actually in the nucleus, or trapping the electron at all. Something is, but no one knows what is in there. Likely, nothing... it's the magnetic field making the electron act like there's an atom there.

Still, this is way cool... imaginary matter!

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036545)

yes, but does it have a +i or -i spin?

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036707)

imaginary matter!

Piquing the interest of geeks everywhere, the oft-criticized Imaginary Property has been seen cavorting with Imaginary Matter. Will this ugly IP monster finally settle down now that a romantic interest has developed? Story at 11:00!

Re:What do they mean by an "atom"? (1)

misterhypno (978442) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036239)

It's an artifact, alright - it's the dreaded +2 Atom of Confusion!

Meh. (-1, Offtopic)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035525)

"Imagine a beowulf cluster of those..." has a better ring to it.

Re:Meh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035719)

"Imagine a beowulf cluster of those..." has a better ring to it.

I'll settle for two of 'em. Because the picture in the article looks like boob [dailytech.com] .

Re:Meh. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036207)

"Imagine a beowulf cluster of those..."


Yes, but does it run Linux?

I am far too stupid (0)

Bayoudegradeable (1003768) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035561)

I'm too stupid to even be able to make a smart ass joke about this article. Uh, does this mean reruns of Quantum Leap? (Must... try... harder...) 2D or not 2D, that is the question... Wait, maybe I've got it... "Artificial" flat... after years of artificial big, the new sub-genre of pr0n is artificial flat... I'll miss my karma, I suppose...

Re:I am far too stupid (2, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035603)

Sadly, these flat atoms will never get the attention that more endowed atoms get on a regular basis.

Re:I am far too stupid (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035623)

It's hard to be a clown on this one, I'm afraid. Maybe jokes about non-flat atoms that just sit around all day collecting welfare checks shooting off neutrons, or how this flat atom doesn't have any boyfriends because she's so flat. Maybe go the route where "flat" rhymes with "fat" and talk about Fat Atombert. Hey hey hey!

Re:I am far too stupid (1)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035637)

Yeah, it's all pretty much crazy moon language to me.

"We've recreated the fufflernuggen hoppleheimer process in lab conditions. Isn't that exciting!"

Now I know how my friends and family feel when I start talking about Unix.

Re:I am far too stupid (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035923)

i wound say wikipedia [wikipedia.org] but it appears not to have an article on flat atoms :-(

OT : your name (0, Offtopic)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035655)

lol.. are you French by any chance? (that's unrelated to your comment by the way, just the pun in your name)

Re:OT : your name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035733)

Oh crap, bayou like in Louisiana.. nevermind..

Re:I am far too stupid (1)

karbyn-aceous (1204544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035857)

or ... "tiny arsenic atom" ... as opposed to those large arsenic atoms that bully me on the freeway ?

Re:I am far too stupid (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035891)

Thank goodness they finally have flat atoms. All of those bumpy atoms were starting to annoy me.

Electron sighting... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035585)

With a 2D atom scientists can now predict (with considerably more accuracy) where that electron is located! This is amazing.

Re:Electron sighting... (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036597)

of course: infinity^2infinity^3

Comment6 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035589)

Comment6.
And ?

Quantum State (0, Redundant)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035619)

This is a sad commentary on the state of science reporting. The electron can't be in an intermediate state since there are only 2 possible states. Probably "indeterminate quantum state" is what was intended.

Re:Quantum State (1)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035661)

Sorry, thought /. didn't save my post. I didn't notice before that the text was lifted directly from TFA.

"Tiny Arsenic Atom" ?? (5, Funny)

anandamide (86527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035639)

Is there a big variety I'm unaware of?

Re:"Tiny Arsenic Atom" ?? (1, Funny)

BrotherBeal (1100283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035925)

Yes. It's called New Jersey.

Re:"Tiny Arsenic Atom" ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036771)

Hey, cut the Jersey stereotype crap or I'll have my cousin come and whack you.

The article is exiting gibberish (4, Interesting)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035713)

Can someone on slashdot please make sense of the article. It claims
1. That quantum computing needs vastly fewer bits to represent data. I thought it dealt with multiple possibilities simultaneously, but that the final reality just needed small number of bits. (Ideal for encryption cracking. Crap for storing a database)
2. That a synthetic atom was created. OK. I used to be a chemist. A new non-peridic table atom is heresy to me. But that extraordinary claim seemed to be nothing more than an odd electrical state, acting as if an unknown atom was present.
3. A molecule was created. Covalent bonds and the like. Except that it seemed to be an arsenic atom buried in a matrix. Not a separate molecule at all.
4. That faster than light communication is possible. I thought that collapsing entanglement does appear to happen faster than light, but that no information transfer happens. Mind you, that's my memory of my take on a New Scientist comment some time back. My brain has its share of garbage. Compost help ideas grow. ;-)

I suspect there is great science here being reported as little more than magic.

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (1)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035885)

I agree. It sounds like the reporter is totally clueless and just parroting what he though he heard researchers say.

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036267)

I don't know much about the other three, but #1 can be answered easily. Imagine instead of having ones and zeros, having zeros, ones and twos given that cubits have three states. With the third state, more can be said with the same amount of bits as a binary on/off state.

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (1)

sp332 (781207) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036351)

the qbit can be in a continuum of states, each a combination of "0" and "1" in various probabilities. It's still just 0's and 1's, though, and when you read the data out, you'll still just get a 0 or a 1.

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (1)

sp332 (781207) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036373)

OK, replying to my own post, but I forgot to mention that a useful, readable continuum of arbitrary precision can be held in an analog system. Unfortunately, most practical computers these days are digital.

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (4, Informative)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036363)

Imagine that if you want, but it isn't how it works.

A quantum bit can actually be in many different states; any weighted superposition of the 0 state and the 1 state, in fact. But you can't look at it and say "ah, right now it's in an indeterminate state"; when you read it, it collapses to either the 0 state or the 1 state. Its state prior to observation only determines the odds that you'll see the 0 state vs. the 1 state when you read it; you can only read it as being in one or the other.

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036405)

I thought that collapsing entanglement does appear to happen faster than light, but that no information transfer happens.

You can't find out what the state was before the collapse, but you could conceivably find out that the collapse happened (the behavior becomes that of a particle instead of an element).

Re:The article is exiting gibberish (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036823)

That's not how it works. You can't measure an indeterminate state. I'm not even sure what you mean by "element."

If I've got some sets of pair entangled particles and I give you one half of each pair, then I manipulate my set and you measure your set, if we compare notes we'll find out that our measurements agree with each other (actually, in most cases they disagree perfectly, but that's just a detail).

The catch is that you can only observe the effect after we get together and compare notes. You can only compare notes by transmitting messages... at or slower than the speed of light.

From another angle, I can't give you an entangled particle, manipulate its partner into a state of my choosing, then expect your particle to indicate that state. It doesn't work that way.

Re: Discovery of a "Flat" Atom Hailed as Quantum C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24035725)

That's pretty cool. I feel a little dizzy, but it's pretty cool...

Wil McCarthy's Wellstone... (2, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035757)

Wil McCarthy insists that his Wellstone... an artificial state of matter (or something of that nature) involving a grid of pseudo-atoms... isn't entirely science fiction.

The Wellstone
The Collapsium
Lost in Transition
To Crush the Moon

Warning: I haven't been able to bring myself to read the final book in this series, the previous books have set it up as a serious downer and I've already got enough stress in my life as it is.

Re:Wil McCarthy's Wellstone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036307)

It is a serious downer. There's a deus-ex-machina upper at the end, but it doesn't quite make up for the earlier immense destruction and waste (strongly hinted at in the previous books, that's not a spoiler if you've read them), and as an upper it's mixed at best - sure, the [fbyne flfgrz vf erpbafgehpgrq], but by the sounds of it almost as a "[Dhrraqbz bs Fby qvfarl gurzrcnex]".

It's quite believable in term of human nature though. Throughout you're thinking "Gods. If I was in charge I wouldn't have fucked it up quite this badly". The major characters are somewhat more believable and fallible than in the earlier books. Of course they also [zbfgyl jvaq hc qrnq].

and 640k should be enough for everyone (2, Interesting)

Wizworm (782799) | more than 6 years ago | (#24035937)

Delft's Rogge, the first of the discoverers stated, "Our experiment made us realize that industrial electronic devices have now reached the level where we can study and manipulate the state of a single atom. This is the ultimate limit, you cannot get smaller than that."

I, for one... (2, Funny)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036047)

am tired of these flat molecules. I want the largest, firmest and the most ample molecules that I can get my hands on...

Wait... was thinking of something else. Never mind.

Intermediate quantum state? (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036147)

Uhm.. I thought quantum states where discrete...
it's like per definition.
But whatever..

x = 1/2
x E N

And also... (0, Redundant)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036153)

it's an excellent substitute for almonds in recipes. Slight indigestion does follow in some cases. YMMV.

Image wha? (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036209)

Imagine a tiny arsenic atom embedded in a tiny strip of silicon atoms.

Me: ??? <blink, blink>

Who the hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036309)

Who the hell sat on my arsenic atom and let the air out?

Wow Slashdot.. (0, Troll)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036421)

Seems to be getting further and further behind the cusp of breaking news. I read about this sometime last week and was waiting for Slashdot to provide a little more insight.

Then I forgot about it until now.

imagination or reality? (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036433)

There appears to be a fair amount of conjecture here. From the article:
"Hollenberg explained, "The team found that the measurements only made sense if the molecule was considered to be made of two parts. One end comprised the arsenic atom embedded in the silicon, while the 'artificial' end of the molecule forms near the silicon surface of the transistor. A single electron was spread across both ends. What is strange about the 'surface' end of the molecule is that it occurs as an artifact when we apply electrical current across the transistor and hence can be considered 'manmade.' We have no equivalent form existing naturally in the world around us."
Klimeck, and graduate student Rajib Rahman used the analysis to develop a three million-atom model in nano-electronics modeling program NEMO 3-D to analyze the behavior. From this, they determined that the exotic flat atom represented a controllable quantum state atom, via its electron. The quantum state was voltage dependent, the necessary characteristic for an electricity-based quantum computer.
Last David Ebert, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue, and graduate student Insoo Woo, helped transform the model into an image to help visualize the discovery."
So, the supposed molecule exists so that the calculations make sense. The rest is modeled in a computer program. I remain unconvinced. Perhaps a year or two down the road quantum theory will reach a point at which the results of some experiment proven by the same mechanisms leads to a contradiction, thus derailing the very foundation on which discoveries like this are theorized?

Happy Accident (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036555)

from the breakthroughs-by-mistake dept.

There's a word for that, just on the tip of my mind, meaning happy accident... ah yes: schadenfreude.

Re:Happy Accident (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036661)

Perhaps you're thinking of serendipity? Schadenfreude only applies to sadists.

Obligatory (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036713)

In Soviet Russia, atoms flatten you.

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