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EU-funded scientists in the Netherlands have managed to rapidly control the building blocks of a quantum computer by using an electric field rather than a magnetic one. In addition, the team succeeded in embedding these building blocks, known as quantum bits or qubits, in a semiconductor nanowire. The study, published in the journal Nature, could lead to advances in the field of quantum computing and communication.

Jon Cartwright at PhysicsWorld writes: ''Physicists in the US and the UK have found a way to store and read data in nuclear spins using electronic pulses. The breakthrough could help in the development of spintronic systems that process information using spins – and could also find applications in quantum computation.''

Kate McAlpine at PhysicsWorld writes: ''Since quantum mechanics was first formulated, a string of physicists including Albert Einstein have been uncomfortable with the idea of entanglement – whereby a group of quantum particles have a closer relationship than allowed by classical physics. As a result, some physicists have proposed alternative theories that allow such close relationships without the need for quantum mechanics.

Chris Lee at ArsTechnics writes: ''Not so long ago, we reported on a paper that purported to blow a hole in quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. Now, researchers at Toshiba have struck back with findings that show that the attack doesn't really work. To which the original authors have replied, "Well, it depends." ''

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Taking a step toward the realization of futuristic quantum technologies, a team of physicists from China and Germany has demonstrated a key element – an entangling gate – of a quantum teleportation scheme proposed more than 10 years ago. The entangling gate serves as a fundamental building block for applications such as long-distance quantum communication and practical quantum computers.

It was agreed by many that the existence of a (moderated) quantum foundations mailing list, with a wide scope and involving the broad international community, was long overdue. Now it exists, with currently about 500 subscribers. To subscribe, send a blank email to quantum-foundations-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk To make a post, send an email to quantum-foundations@maillist.ox.ac.uk

PicoQuant GmbH and the Department of Physics - Nanooptics of Humboldt University have started a high bit rate quantum random number generator service delivering truly random numbers over the internet. Using the service is free of charge but requires registration.

Michael Banks writes at Physics World: ''The US is no longer a "colossus of science" according to a new report looking into the country’s scientific output. Written by information-services provider Thomson Reuters, it says that although the US still holds a "commanding" lead in terms of its research impact, its forerunner status is being eroded. The report blames this on a rapid rise in scientific publishing from countries in Asia and Europe.''
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Dr. Olivia Meyer-Streng at IDW writes: ''The ability to control the propagation of light is at the technological heart of today’s telecommunication society. Researchers in the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurement led by Prof. Tobias J. Kippenberg (now EPFL) have discovered a novel principle to accomplish this, which is based on the interaction of light (photons) with mechanical vibrations (phonons).

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