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MIT Research Shows New Magnetic State That Could Aid Quantum Computing

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the a-new-spin-on-things dept.

Science 49

alphadogg writes "Researchers at MIT and other institutions have demonstrated a new type of magnetism, only the third kind ever found, and it may find its way into future communications, computing and data storage technologies. Working with a tiny crystal of a rare mineral that took 10 months to make, the researchers for the first time have demonstrated a magnetic state called a QSL (quantum spin liquid), according to MIT physics professor Young Lee. He is the lead author of a paper on their findings, which is set to be published in the journal Nature this week (abstract). Theorists had said QSLs might exist, but one had never been demonstrated before. 'We think it's pretty important,' Lee said, adding that he would let his peers be the ultimate judges."

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Magnets..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42354987)

How do they work?

Re:Magnets..... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42356087)


How do they work?

The magnets attract, the magnets repel - never a miscommunication. You can't explain that.

SUPERCONDUCTIVITY? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42356151)

Could this quantum spin liquid somehow help create room temperature superconductors? Because I once read that the formation of magnetic vortices is one of the things that helps to disrupt superconductive flow as temperature and current increase. But if this spin liquid were to keep all the magnetic spins randoma and unaligned, maybe this could suppress those vortices from forming?

Re:SUPERCONDUCTIVITY? (2)

Whiteox (919863) | about 2 years ago | (#42357023)

Naaah... It's an East pole with a polar opposite West pole.

... could aid... (5, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42355003)

TFA quote with translation:

... but we're still very early into this research," Lee said. "It's many, many years away [xkcd.com] from becoming something that's in a technology that a consumer would use."

Re:... could aid... (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#42355127)

TFA never made claims that consumer products using this material were anywhere close at all. It's about the science at this point, not applications.

Re:... could aid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42355309)

TFA never made claims that consumer products using this material were anywhere close at all. It's about the science at this point, not applications.

Indeed, you show a pretty good understanding of the phrase quoted from TFA... congrats.

Off topic but a tidbit we have in common (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42361559)

http://idle.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3331225&cid=42361491 [slashdot.org]

* Was meaning to reply to your (lol) "Felis Catus Erectus" post the other day in an "end of the world" post here -> http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3322527&cid=42320943 [slashdot.org] , but "life" got in the way, so... here I am now!

I have 1 JUST LIKE YOURS (assuming that that IS your cat that is)... & 3 females to go along with him, that have 6 toes on EACH leg/paw also.

APK

P.S.=> They are, truly amazing cats...

... apk

Re:Off topic but a tidbit we have in common (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42375587)

OMG, I have a cat just like that too. I notice he drinks more milk than the other cat I have, but I think the taste of milk has been changing over the years. I wonder if the other cat would have drank more milk in the past and the six-toed one less.

I tend to buy 1% milk now, as whole milk just doesn't taste as good. It is just like with onions, I used to buy red ones, but they don't taste as good now, so I buy yellow. I wish produce wouldn't change, I've even tried growing it myself, but I think they do something to the seeds now so as to make you want to go to a supermarket instead.

Aren't they great? apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42393581)

It's some sort of mutation... they're considered "lucky cats" & were WIDELY favored on sailing vessels since they're considered better "mousers"... but also considered "witches familiars" & were killed for it too (my God, how STUPID could people be).

Could it be caused by milk? Who knows what with all the crap in food as additives or the hormone fakers in plastic containers that mimic estrogen... what I do know is?

THIS: I've said this about DOGS before online many times, but it goes for cats too - CATS are BETTER PEOPLE than PEOPLE ARE...

AND THIS TOO: Cats? They're great (I used to consider them cold & emotionless killers, I learned better... they're more intelligent than most dogs, & yes, REQUIRE love too).

LMAO - THEY ARE "X CATS"...

APK

P.S.=> Sorry for my late response here... was busy with life!

... apk

fancy lies (3, Informative)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42355075)

This isn't "another type of magnetism." + and - attracting is + and - attracting. What they're talking about is a different expression of magnetism, typically because the atoms inside are lined up differently.
If I remember correctly, type one is all of em pointing the same way. That makes a field that sucks in other oppositely aligned materials.
Type two has approximately 50% facing one way and 50% the other in a perfectly intermingled way so it has a magnetic field of absolutely nothing in relation to other objects around it.
This third time is all of the atoms constantly changing magnetic direction and never settle into an order ever. They have a tendency to settle into an order so yeah, not easy to make, lol. Although the atoms themselves aren't moving, cuz it's a solid crystal, so this sort of acts like a perpetual motion device for magnetic fields only, not matter. Kinda neat. But it's still + and - attracting so sorry folks, no new force of physics.

Re:fancy lies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42355157)

Have all those perpetual motion motor genorator people have the holy grail now?

Re:fancy lies (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#42355749)

Have all those perpetual motion motor genorator people have the holy grail now?

From the parent:

it has a magnetic field of absolutely nothing in relation to other objects around it.

What do you think?

Re:fancy lies (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42356363)

I didn't say it would move other objects :-P I said the magnetic field only is constantly moving in every single atom without any power being used to do so. The atoms aren't moving, just their "magnetic moment" which is why it doesn't violate physics but is quite a bit like a perpetual motion machine.

Re:fancy lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42358447)

Unless the sample is at absolute zero, the atoms are always moving too.

Re:fancy lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42362219)

Thanks for clearing that up, tis why I posted my stupid question anonymously =) So this is basically another way in which something will have neutral magnetism, without being 50/50

Re:fancy lies (1)

mikael (484) | about 2 years ago | (#42355287)

Quasi-periodic tiling of magnetic spin axii?

Re:fancy lies (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | about 2 years ago | (#42364311)

<rant>

Quasi-periodic tiling of magnetic spin axii?

"Axii"? [wikia.com]

Perhaps you meant "axes" [google.com] (ahk-sees). See also: Irregular plurals from Latin and Greek. [wikipedia.org]

Sorry, don't mean to be pedantic, but made-up plurals are a pet peeve.

</rant>

Re:fancy lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42366405)

From blog.developingstorm/2004/11/axis-axes-axii.php

One axis, two axes, three axii.

www.fieldtemplate.com/plastic/how2use3.html

...and wrong at that (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 years ago | (#42355327)

What they're talking about is a different expression of magnetism, typically because the atoms inside are lined up differently.

...and even then they forget that there is paramagnetism and diamagnetism.

Re:...and wrong at that (3, Informative)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 2 years ago | (#42355861)

...and even then they forget that there is paramagnetism and diamagnetism.

Let's try to sum up

  • Diamagnetism: the material reacts to a magnetic field by createing a magnetic field in the opposite direction
  • Paramagnetism: the material reacts to a magnetic field by createing a magnetic field in the same direction
  • Ferromagnetism: the magnetic dipoles in the material are ordered and the material produces an intrinsic magnetic field
  • Antiferromagnetism: the magnetic dipoles in the material are ordered counter each other magnetic field
  • What-they-found-magnetism: someone can explain?

Re:...and wrong at that (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42356369)

Dia and Para are both type 1, just in opposite directions, lol.

Re:...and wrong at that (1)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#42362381)

Of course you are missing the obvious... They seem to have demonstrated a state of magnetism where is might be possible to demostrate yet another macro-quantum effect.

As I understand it, one way to think of a Quantum Spin Liquid (or Glass), is that you have a bunch of magnetic domains embedded in a crystaline structure such that there is no stable anti-ferromagnetic pairing (there's no particular energetic reason for a specific two to pair to cancel each other out vs them forming pairs with other neighbors). In some ways, you can think of the delocalized electrons in a semiconductor lattice to be a quantum "electrical" liquid. There's no energeticly favored pairings, so the near the ground state, if classical, would be a metastable pairing, but in the domain where quantum effects dominate, could be a superposition of paired states.

Some of the weird quantum-ness that you might have heard about so-called "holes" in a semiconductor lattice which exhibits some quantum-mechanical effects as if they were positively charged electrons. Similarly a spinon in a quantum spin liquid may exhibit similar effects (or so people specualte). The strange-ness occurs near the ground state where you might be able to somehow entangle these quasi-particles with each other or with photons. To my knowledge this hasn't been done in semiconductors yet, but is theoretically possible. Perhaps it might be easier to do this in a quantum spin liquid however, as the energy levels near the ground state are probably much higher.

Re:fancy lies (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42355545)

It kind of is. The magnetic field behaves like a liquid while the atomic structure is in a solid crystal.
So your "Type one" is the magnetic field is aligned with the atomic structure.
Your "Type two" is the magnetic field is aligned (cancelled out) with the atomic structure.
In this new type, the field is in a liquid state while the structure is solid.

Explain how that is not a different state. (by the way, there is no claim it is a new 'type of magnetism', it's about the state of it) It's also already been theorised a long time ago, this is just the first time it's been done for real.

Re:fancy lies (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42361129)

sorry charlie, magnetic fields have no sources or sinks. they are always loops. there is no + and - in a magnetic field. there is a direction vector

Re:fancy lies (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#42366037)

Actually, there are different kinds of magnetic materials.

First, most famously, there's ferromagnetism, named thusly because iron famously exhibits it. So does steel and I think nickel. Rare earth magnets are also this kind. A ferromagnetic material will stick to a magnet and can be used to make permanent magnets (e.g., by melting it and then allowing it to harden while exposed to a magnetic field).

Second, also well known even among gradeschool children, materials such as copper won't (normally) stick to a magnet, but they do interact with magnetic fields in other ways. For example, if you pass an electric current through them they generate a temporary magnetic field ("electromagnet"). Conversely, if you expose them to a magnetic field, you can cause them to generate a current. Most conductors exhibit this property.

Third, less well known but very well documented on the internet, some materials are not ferromagnetic but will nonetheless do physically weird things in the presence of magnetic fields when motion is involved. Aluminum is the most common example of such a material. (Aluminum also does what copper does, described above, but the two kinds of magnetism are distinct. Dropping a permanent magnet through a copper tube does not cause the interesting magnetic slowing effect that it does with an aluminum tube.)

There may be others, but those are the ones I'm aware of off the top of my head.

Re:fancy lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42370521)

Umm, the effect of dropping a magnet through a tube is just induced currents, and works with any conductor. The strength of the effect depends only on the conductivity of the material. This works with both an aluminum tube and copper tube, but a little better with copper as it is slightly more conductive. It will even work with graphite, so is not specific to metals. It really is just another form of electromagnetism, so is not distinct from your "second" kind of magnetism.

Copper is diamagnetic, which means it will slightly weaken a magnetic field it is placed, and aluminum is slightly paramagnetic, so it will slightly strengthen a magnetic field it is placed in (both effects are unrelated to the dropping a magnet through a tube). The paramagnetism is much weaker than ferromagnetism and won't retain a magnetic field when the external one is removed.

The two states referred to above are probably ferromagnetism vs. diamagnetism&paramagnetism (the latter two are pretty similar). Currents through a material isn't a distinct state of magnetic materials, as it is not a material property, but a fundamental property of moving charges.

Not real practical (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42355123)

Did anyone else read this as particles on one side of the crystal affect the magnetic moment of the particles on the other side of the crystal instantly (so sort of like an entangled particle) but if you took a hammer and smashed the crystal in two, it probably wouldn't work so well anymore? So you could never split up two halves of the crystal to have a practical instantaneous long range communication unless you make a single piece 10,000 foot long crystal or something.

Re:Not real practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42355229)

Even if that's the case, you know my current CPU is all of 1cm across -- so that would be pretty neat in, you know, computing applications...

Re:Not real practical (1)

sgunhouse (1050564) | about 2 years ago | (#42355413)

No such thing as instantaneous anyway, magnetic fields propagate at the speed of light. At best, it's the magnetic equivalent of a superconductor. Not that such a thing would be uninteresting, but we're not violating any laws of physics.

Re:Not real practical (1)

Guignol (159087) | about 2 years ago | (#42357493)

They are talking about entangled states, so yes there is something 'instantaneous' (spooky action at a distance) but it indeed does not violate any law of QED.

Re:Not real practical (4, Interesting)

TexVex (669445) | about 2 years ago | (#42355597)

Look, the Ansible is not possible with quantum entanglement. Also, the original science fiction concept of the Ansible did not involve quantum entanglement. A fictional Ansible is built from a fictional particle that exists simultaneously in two locations and never decays. For an Ansible to work, there must be a special frame of reference in Relativity, but General Relativity does not allow for treating any frame differently from any other frame.

Entanglement is the splitting of a bit of quantum information across two interactions. Neither of the two interactions can possibly have any effect on the other; all that happens is that the entangled measurements from both interactions sum to zero. Every interaction between particles either creates entanglement or destroys it or performs some combination of the two.

Consider that they must sum to zero in every frame of reference under General Relativity: no interaction can determine the results of another because then there would exist some frame of reference where the effect would precede the cause.

That's the bonkers thing about entanglement: it implies determinism but also sidesteps it at the same time.

Re:Not real practical (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42355837)

If it were possible to split a crystal and communicate between two entangled halves (assume no FTL, causality violations, etc.), the technology would be classified and locked up immediately. No government, particularly our own, would tolerate the existence of a communications system that operated over an uninterceptable medium.

Re:Not real practical (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42356353)

You do know that quantum entanglement does exactly that and they got it to work over like 14 feet or something, right?

Re:Not real practical (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42357807)

If it were possible to split a crystal and communicate

You do know that quantum entanglement does exactly that, right?

You do know that it doesn't, right?

Re:Not real practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42358481)

Quantum entanglement has been demonstrated over much longer distances, however does not allow for faster than light communication, even if it appears to have faster than light effects. No aspect of that can be send information faster than light unless quantum mechanics is fundamentally wrong, as the math showing such communication is not possible is pretty simple and straightforward.

Re:Not real practical (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 2 years ago | (#42362353)

Just because we humans can not commnicate using quantum entanglement over large distances violating causality.

Does not mean that the universe itself cannot violate causality. Our observations are limited. To the point that we may never see or understand causality being broken.

Now on the other side there are a few papers out there demonstrating that causality has been observed being boken. For example the result of an experiment being predetermined.

All this means is that human beings living in a relativisticly understood universe with relativistic sensors, can never create an ansible. Current theory does not allow for the construction for one, but does not preclude their existence.

Consicely: Information does infact travel faster then light, the observation of this result does not, there fore we cannot conclusively prove it but thats what the theory states.

Re:Not real practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42370539)

That is nice and all, but doesn't have anything really to do with quantum entanglement. Maybe there is stuff out there that allows communication faster than light, but it would have to be something fundamentally distinct from theory and explanation of quantum entanglement. You are welcome to speculate that such things exist, as they may do exist, but to use quantum entanglement as supporting evidence is just incorrect.

Re:Not real practical (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 2 years ago | (#42371525)

I rememeber getting that idea from reading about quantum teleportation. When you change an entangled pair of particles, the state changes for both simultaneously. No time differential. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation [wikipedia.org]

The wikipedia isnt the only source. I have read about this one a number of times, some whitepapers, some pop-sci writeups, some discovery, some arguing on slashdot and other places. The wiki article seems pretty well to define what I'm talking about in more technical terms. We have instintaneously changed the state of one particle without having to traverse time and space to do it. The effect was observed at relativistic speeds. No ansible. FTL yes. In fact, no speed at all because it was instant. Like Dunes spacing from one place to the next.

To really try and get my point across. To do the experiment you need to take information with you from point A to B at sublight speed, but the information is used to change the state of the particle in both places at exactly the same time. This happens after the information has traversed from A to be. You cant use it to transport the information, but the particles do in fact break causality once the information is used.

Re:Not real practical (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 2 years ago | (#42371589)

To try to be more clear and cite from the article directly:

Alice provides her two measured classical bits, which indicate which of the four states Bob possesses. Bob applies a unitary transformation which depends on the classical bits he obtains from Alice, transforming his qubit into an identical re-creation of the qubit c.

This is how quantum encryptian works. You can tell that Alice did something because Bobs bits react a specific way to Alices information. There is no way to tell if this happend instantly because Alice has never been able to get bob the results non-relativisticly. No proof for FTL exists, but the theory says thats how it works, and that its impossible to prove.

I'm just saying just because the experiment cant prove it, doesnt mean it doesnt happen all the time =)

I still have not figured out an experiment to prove it myself, but the ones about predetermined results are pretty cool.

Quantum computing... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#42355667)

...it's just like cold fusion. Always on the horizon.

Cold fusion on the horizon ? - better read this ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42357945)

recently Hitachi has replicated Mitsubishi's "low energy nuclear transmutation".

to be able to understand how confused you are start with reading this peer reviewed paper from 2002: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYelementalaa.pdf

better stop using "cold fusion" as an example for crackpot science.

Re:Cold fusion on the horizon ? - better read this (1)

Moabz (1480009) | about 2 years ago | (#42359249)

recently Hitachi has replicated Mitsubishi's "low energy nuclear transmutation".

to be able to understand how confused you are start with reading this peer reviewed paper from 2002: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYelementalaa.pdf [lenr-canr.org]

better stop using "cold fusion" as an example for crackpot science.

spot on.

Lame! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42355669)

As somebody essentially bereft of understanding of this 'quantum' stuff, I refuse to be satisfied until MIT develops a new magnetic state that both aids and hinders quantum computing until disturbed, at which point it only does one or the other!

It will turn out .... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42355803)

... that the only commercially exploitable deposits of Herbertsmithite crystals are found in China.

co3k (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42357013)

for it. I don't Love of two is Irc network. The nned to scream that that has lost it transfor`ms into Time I'm done here, And building is By simple fucking

A third kind of magnetism? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42357209)

I didn't even know there were two.

Time to change the DSM5! (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#42358279)

We only knew two kinds of magnetism, now there is another one found.
This new one should be called tri-polar disorder... I propose third of march as 'world tripolar day'!

PLS QSL VIA BURO (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42359203)

Theorists had said QSLs might exist, but one had never been demonstrated before.

I call BS! [google.com]

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