Volume 1 Issue 2, November 2005

Volume 1 Issue 2

Diamond could be the perfect host for a qubit.

To see a diamond, don't go to a jewellery shop — head for a spintronics or quantum-computation laboratory instead. The spin associated with a nitrogen vacancy centre — an impurity sitting at a vacancy site in the diamond lattice — has a long lifetime and is therefore promising for applications in quantum information processing. Ryan Epstein and colleagues have constructed a room-temperature microscope that is sensitive to the light emitted by a single nitrogen vacancy centre. Moreover, by precisely controlling the magnetic field, they can detect the presence of nearby non-luminescent nitrogen atoms that couple to the nitrogen vacancy centres. These 'dark' spins have an even longer lifetime than the bright spins.

Image courtesy of Russell J. Hemley, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Letter by Epstein et al. | News and Views by Kennedy

Editorial

Commentary

  • Commentary |

    The science of networks is experiencing a boom. But despite the necessary multidisciplinary approach to tackle the theory of complexity, scientists remain largely compartmentalized in their separate disciplines. Can they find a common voice?

    • Albert-László Barabási

Thesis

Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    The spin of a photoluminescent nitrogen centre in diamond has a long life-time that could be useful as a qubit, for example. It's difficult enough to image such a single spin — imagine using that bright spin to detect nearby invisible 'dark' spins.

    • Thomas Kennedy
  • News & Views |

    Excited quantum states in nature are normally extremely short-lived, and this certainly applies to most nuclei. But what makes the metastable nuclear states different? And how can we exploit them for useful applications?

    • Ani Aprahamian
    •  & Yang Sun
  • News & Views |

    Whether or not a superconductor is truly superconducting depends on its size and even its shape. In a geometry intermediate between one and two dimensions, it seems a thin film does not reach a state of zero resistance except at zero temperature.

    • Steven M. Girvin
  • News & Views |

    Read-heads based on the manipulation of spin have already revolutionized the performance of magnetic data storage devices. The development of more-complex spin-devices using carbon nanotubes could enable the next logical step in spintronics.

    • Igor Ẑutić
    •  & Michael Fuhrer
  • News & Views |

    A planet's rings can be distorted by the gravitational pull of its satellites, and these complex interactions have been difficult to disentangle. Saturn's moon Prometheus, however, has now been caught returning to the scene of the crime.

    • Douglas P. Hamilton
  • News & Views |

    An atomic Bose–Einstein condensate represents a highly correlated, coherent state of matter. Experiments now reveal that the collective matter-wave properties extend to include coherent dynamics of the spin degrees of freedom.

    • Nicholas Bigelow

Letters

Articles

Endgame