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 Quantum physicists win Nobel prize

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PostSubject: Quantum physicists win Nobel prize    Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:36 pm

Quantum physicists win Nobel prize

French-American Duo Hailed For Finding Way To Help Build Supercomputers

Stockholm: A French-American duo shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for inventing methods to observe the properties of the quantum world,research that has led to the construction of extremely precise clocks and helped scientists take the first steps toward building superfast computers.
Serge Haroche of France and American David Wineland opened the door to new experiments in quantum physics by showing how to observe individual quantum particles while preserving their quantum properties.
A quantum particle is one that is isolated from everything else.In this situation,an atom or electron or photon takes on strange properties.It can be in two places at once,for example.It behaves in some ways like a wave.But these properties are instantly changed when it interacts with something else,such as when somebody observes it.
Working separately,the two scientists,both 68,developed ingenious laboratory methods that allowed them to manage and measure and control fragile quantum states,the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type of superfast computer based on quantum physics, the academy said.The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time.
Haroche is a professor at the College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris.Wineland is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology,or NIST,and the University of Colorado in Boulder,Colorado.The two researchers use opposite approaches to examine,control and count quantum particles,the academy said.Wineland traps ions electrically charged atoms and measures them with light,while Haroche controls and measures photons,or light particles.
Haroche said he was out walking with his wife when he got the call from Nobel judges.I was in the street and passing a bench so I was able to sit down, Haroche told a news conference in Stockholm by phone.Its very overwhelming. He said his work in the realm of quantum physics could ultimately lead to unimaginably fast computers.AP

PARLOUR TRICK

French scientist Serge Haroche and American David Wineland share the Nobel prize for work in quantum physics that could one day open the way to revolutionary computers
Working separately,they have found ways to manipulate the very smallest particles of matter and light to observe strange behaviour that previously could only be imagined in equations and thought experiments
Wineland calls his own work a parlour trick that performs the seemingly magical feat of putting an object in two places at the same time
This could make it possible to build a new kind of computer far more powerful than any seen before.Perhaps the quantum computer will change our everyday lives in this century in the same radical way as the classical computer did in the last century, the Nobel jury said
It added: The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a

new standard of time

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SERGE HAROCHE

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DAVID WINELAND
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