Quantum physics

Quantum physics is the study of matter and energy at its most fundamental level. A central tenet of quantum physics is that energy comes in indivisible packets called quanta. Quanta behave very differently to macroscopic matter: particles can behave like waves, and waves behave as though they are particles.

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  • News and Views |

    Systems of neutral atoms are gradually gaining currency as a promising candidate for realizing large-scale quantum computing. The achievement of a record-high fidelity in quantum operation with alkaline-earth Rydberg atoms is a case in point.

    • Wenhui Li
  • Research Highlights |

    Twenty-five years ago, a paper by Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller turned quantum computing from a bold theoretical idea to an experimental race to build an actual device. Today, engineering challenges remain, but first-generation practical quantum computers seem tangible.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • News and Views |

    Two studies shed light on quantum defects in two-dimensional hexagonal boron nitride, identifying an optically addressable spin centre at room temperature and offering microscopic insights into different classes of single-photon emitters.

    • M. E. Turiansky
    • , A. Alkauskas
    •  & C. G. Van de Walle
    Nature Materials 19, 487-489
  • News and Views |

    Single rare-earth ions are hard to observe and even harder to use as qubits. However, with the help of coupling to an optical cavity and clever engineering of selection rules, a big step has been taken to establish their new role in the quantum world.

    • Roman Kolesov
    •  & Jörg Wrachtrup
    Nature Physics 16, 503-504
  • Research Highlights |

    Decoherence in quantum systems compromises the quantum information processing. However, in molecular systems, coherence is not completely lost and residual coherence can provide important information to guide the design of efficient molecular qubits.

    • Gabriella Graziano