Get ready for the Maser-Beam, older than a laser and more powerful

Move Over Lasers, It’s Maser Time

No, masers are not just a word that we came up with just now. They’ve actually been around since the 1950s, before lasers were invented. The problem is that they’ve always been impractical–that is, until the team of researchers came up with a device that could let masers over take lasers in the coolness race.

They have yet to determine what the maser can do, but like the laser the discoveries only happen when you shoot stuff.

The expectation is that the more precise maser can shoot through clouds (lasers can’t), detect extra-terrestrials, and turn into a surgical tool that can exactly attack a tumor.

From the August cover of Nature magazine:

The maser is the microwave-frequency precursor of the now ubiquitous laser. But it has had little technological impact compared with the laser, in large part because of inconvenience: masers typically require vacuum and/or low-temperature operating conditions.

Some researchers think they’ve solved that problem and have published a paper in Nature magazine, Room-temperature solid-state maser.

 

The preceding link gives the abstract. For more details read-on at:

 

 

Continue reading Get ready for the Maser-Beam, older than a laser and more powerful

Scientists build first working quantum network – mind-bogglingly powerful

Scientists at the Quantum Dynamics division of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching, Germany announced Wednesday that they have built the very first, elementary quantum network comprised of a pair of entangled atoms that transmit information to each other via single photons.

That and a couple of bucks will get you a cup of coffee, plus anything from a perfectly secure data exchange system to the massive scaling via distributed processing of the already mind-bogglingly powerful, if theoretical, potential of a standalone quantum computer.

These are indeed heady days for the pioneers of quantum computing, with each news cycle seemingly bringing forth a major breakthrough in a subatomic frontier that appears poised to revolutionize how our calculating machines deliver us everything from satellite mapping to LOLcats.

 

Building it was the hardest part:

…had to figure out a means of exercising “perfect control” over all the components in their quantum network, which first meant getting the two atoms that make up the network’s receptor nodes to somehow stay stationary, because a couple of free-floating atoms wouldn’t be able to communicate with the photons relaying information between the two very efficiently.

The team was able to fix their atoms in optical cavities, basically a couple of highly reflective mirrors a short distance from each other, by means of fine-tuned laser beams.

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