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Researchers Build Tiny, Rice Grain-Sized Laser

According to Princeton University researchers, they have successfully produced rice grain-sized laser powered by artificial atoms known as quantum dots.

The tiny little laser utilizes single electrons that tunnel through these quantum dots as a power source. This laser itself releases energy in the microwave range and according to the researchers, it is good way to show how light and moving electrons interact.



The laser that is made by the team of researchers utilizes only around one billionth the amount of electricity that a usual hair dryer requires. According to Princeton physics associate professor and lead researcher for the study Jason Petta, the microwave laser or maser is about small as one can probably go with a single-electron device.

This a serious step forward for quantum computing because the attempt to make a computing system out of a semiconductor material similar to quantum dots has been elusive up until now. Actually, the original objective of the project was not to make a miniature maser but in its place to carry out research into utilizing a pair of quantum dots attached together as a quantum bit.

Quantum dots that can emit photons when single electrons cross from one dot to the other have been designed by the team of researchers. Researchers utilized nanowires around 50 nm in diameter made from indium arsenide to create the quantum dots.

Researchers created the quantum dots with more diminutive metal wires and these wires controlled how much energy the dots can contain. To build the maser, the team of researchers placed two double dots about 6 millimeters apart in a niobium cavity, cooling the whole apparatus to near absolute zero.

The researchers were successfully able to create the dots and release microwave photons, which were then bounced off mirrors that had been attached to every end of the niobium cavity.

Researchers Build Tiny, Rice Grain-Sized Laser.

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From San Diego, California. "Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond." -Hunter S. Thompson