Original Published Date: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Full story published by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET).

In new research which references the popular science fiction movie Back to the Future, a collaboration of physicists in two ARC Centres of Excellence: EQUS and FLEET, working with researchers in Switzerland, have proposed a device which uses the quantum tunnelling of magnetic flux around a capacitor to break time-reversal symmetry. 

The research, published in Physical Review Letters, proposes a new generation of electronic circulators, which are devices that control the direction in which microwave signals move. 

Unfortunately, the device does not allow us to actually travel back in time. However, it does make an important step towards precisely directing control and measurement signals around a quantum computer.

Photo credit: 

Image: the research references a ‘flux capacitor’ which features in the movie Back to the Future. Source: Wikipedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)