Professor Andrea Morello, Dr Vincent Mourik and Dr Serwan Asaad. Picture: UNSW
Original Published Date: 
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Full article issued by The University of New South Wales.

A team of ARC-supported engineers at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney has done what a celebrated scientist first suggested in 1961 was possible, but has eluded everyone since: controlling the nucleus of a single atom using only electric fields.

“This discovery means that we now have a pathway to build quantum computers using single-atom spins without the need for any oscillating magnetic field for their operation,” says UNSW’s Scientia Professor of Quantum Engineering, Andrea Morello. “Moreover, we can use these nuclei as exquisitely precise sensors of electric and magnetic fields, or to answer fundamental questions in quantum science.”

Professor Morello says that the discovery is an "emblematic example" of the freedom of curiosity-driven Discovery Projects scheme funding which enabled the study of fundamental aspects of quantum chaos at the atomic scale, with no particular applications in mind. The discovery may have enormous repercussions of broadly applicable quantum technologies, such as quantum computing and quantum sensing, where the complexity of this type of atom will allow developing sensors with enhanced sensitivity to electromagnetic fields.

Photo credit: 

Professor Andrea Morello, Dr Vincent Mourik and Dr Serwan Asaad. Picture: UNSW.