Physicists Build First Single-Atom Quantum Bit in Silicon

Experimental advance brings silicon-based quantum computers a step closer

3 min read
image depicting system that could read and write the spin state of an electron in a phosphorous atom embedded in a silicon crystal
Image: Tony Melov

group photo

Photo: UNSW
Quantum Computer Scientists: Physicists Andrea Morello [left], Andrew Dzurak [right], and graduate student Jarryd Pla [center] built the first single-atom qubit in silicon. Click image to enlarge.

20 September 2012—Building on some groundbreaking research from a couple of years ago, physicists led by Andrea Morello and Andrew Dzurak of the University of New South Wales, in Australia, are reporting in this week’s issue of Nature that they have managed to create a quantum bit in silicon using just a single atom. The experimental technique is, in principle, compatible with existing semiconductor technology and is being heralded as a big step toward the development of silicon-based quantum computers.

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Vertical
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton
Pink

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

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