The quantum computer is not yet quite around the corner: calculations show that to implement a useful quantum algorithm, billions of quantum systems have to be used. The elements of a newly proposed quantum computer concept, nitrogen atoms trapped in diamonds, could in principle be miniaturized and mass produced. This system could be to quantum computing what the transistor was for microelectronics.
Replacing the large chillers that cool hospitals, museums, and other institutions with more energy-efficient systems means using new materials. Scientists are interested in replacing the silica gel used in today's chillers with novel molecular materials made of molecular meshes or metal organic frameworks.
Researchers are using origami-based folding methods for 'tuning' the fundamental physical properties of any type of thin sheet, which may eventually lead to development of molecular-scale machines that could snap into place and perform mechanical tasks.
Kamal Asadi from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz receives one of the highest German scientific awards from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He studies materials and physics of future organic memory devices.
Scientists using lasers at a Science and Technology Facilities Council facility in the UK believe that they are a step closer to finding a replacement for silicon chips that are faster and use less energy than at present.
Scientists have long known that a molecule's behavior depends on its environment. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, a group of researchers at the University of Chicago developed a new technique to map microscopic environments using the vibrations of molecules.