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Quantum nanoscience is the basic research area at the intersection of nanoscale science and quantum science that creates the understanding that enables development of nanotechnologies. It uses quantum mechanics to explore and utilize coherent quantum effects in engineered nanostructures. This may eventually lead to the design of new types of nanodevices and nanoscopic scale materials, where functionality and structure of quantum nanodevices are described through quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement. With the growing work toward realization of quantum computing, quantum has taken on new meaning that describes the effects at this scale. Current quantum refers to the quantum mechanical phenomena of superposition, entanglement and quantum coherence that are engineered instead of naturally-occurring phenomena.
Quantum nanoscience explores and utilizes coherent quantum effects in engineered nanostructures. Coherence is the property of a quantum system that allows to predict its evolution in time, once it has been prepared in a superposition of different quantum states. This property is important when one intends to use the system for specific tasks, such as performing a sequence of logic operations in a quantum computer. Quantum coherence is fragile and can easily be lost if the system becomes too large or is subjected to uncontrolled interactions with the environment. Quantum coherence-enabled functionality holds the promise of making possible disruptive technologies such as quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum simulation, and quantum sensing. Coherent quantum effects at the nanoscale are relatively uncharted territory. Therefore, the field of quantum nanoscience is special among basic sciences because it provides a pathway into this frontier of human knowledge.
Quantum coherence is at the very heart of quantum nanoscience. The goal of the field is to manipulate and exploit quantum-coherent functionality. Much of the quantum nanoscience is dedicated to understanding the mechanisms of decoherence in order to preserve and maximize coherence.
Superposition is the quantum phenomena wherein an entity can simultaneously exist in two states. The classic description is the though experiment of Schroedinger’s Cat. In this gedanken experiment, the cat can be both alive and dead until the state of the cat is actually observed.
Entanglement can link the quantum states of two or more objects over any distance. Entanglement lies at the heart of quantum teleportation and quantum communication.
The pursuit of quantum coherence-enabled functionality includes the enabling fields of quantum nanoscientific research, such as enabling materials and tools that are directed towards the goal of achieving coherence-enabled functionality. The elements of quantumness, materials, tools, and fabrication are all quantum and/or nano. Quantum nanoscience can include these as long as they are in pursuit of path toward quantum coherent functionality.
Nanotechnology, also shortened to nanotech, is the use of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale for industrial purposes. The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology. A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which defined nanotechnology as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers. This definition reflects the fact that quantum mechanical effects are important at this quantum-realm scale, and so the definition shifted from a particular technological goal to a research category inclusive of all types of research and technologies that deal with the special properties of matter which occur below the given size threshold. It is therefore common to see the plural form "nanotechnologies" as well as "nanoscale technologies" to refer to the broad range of research and applications whose common trait is size.
In quantum computing, a qubit or quantum bit is the basic unit of quantum information—the quantum version of the classic binary bit physically realized with a two-state device. A qubit is a two-state quantum-mechanical system, one of the simplest quantum systems displaying the peculiarity of quantum mechanics. Examples include the spin of the electron in which the two levels can be taken as spin up and spin down; or the polarization of a single photon in which the two states can be taken to be the vertical polarization and the horizontal polarization. In a classical system, a bit would have to be in one state or the other. However, quantum mechanics allows the qubit to be in a coherent superposition of both states simultaneously, a property that is fundamental to quantum mechanics and quantum computing.
This is a timeline of quantum computing.
In physics, two wave sources are perfectly coherent if their frequency and waveform are identical and their phase difference is constant. Coherence is an ideal property of waves that enables stationary interference. It contains several distinct concepts, which are limiting cases that never quite occur in reality but allow an understanding of the physics of waves, and has become a very important concept in quantum physics. More generally, coherence describes all properties of the correlation between physical quantities of a single wave, or between several waves or wave packets.
Orchestrated objective reduction is a controversial hypothesis that postulates that consciousness originates at the quantum level inside neurons, rather than the conventional view that it is a product of connections between neurons. The mechanism is held to be a quantum process called objective reduction that is orchestrated by cellular structures called microtubules. It is proposed that the theory may answer the hard problem of consciousness and provide a mechanism for free will. The hypothesis was first put forward in the early 1990s by Nobel laureate for physics, Roger Penrose, and anaesthesiologist and psychologist Stuart Hameroff. The hypothesis combines approaches from molecular biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, philosophy, quantum information theory, and quantum gravity.
Quantum networks form an important element of quantum computing and quantum communication systems. Quantum networks facilitate the transmission of information in the form of quantum bits, also called qubits, between physically separated quantum processors. A quantum processor is a small quantum computer being able to perform quantum logic gates on a certain number of qubits. Quantum networks work in a similar way to classical networks. The main difference is that quantum networking, like quantum computing, is better at solving certain problems, such as modeling quantum systems.
Charles M. Lieber is an American chemist and pioneer in nanoscience and nanotechnology. In 2011, Lieber was named by Thomson Reuters as the leading chemist in the world for the decade 2000-2010 based on the impact of his scientific publications. He is known for his contributions to the synthesis, assembly and characterization of nanoscale materials and nanodevices, the application of nanoelectronic devices in biology, and as a mentor to numerous leaders in nanoscience.
The Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research was founded in 1969 and is one of the 82 Max Planck Institutes of the Max Planck Society. It is located on a campus in Stuttgart, together with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.
The quantum mind or quantum consciousness is a group of hypotheses proposing that classical mechanics cannot explain consciousness. It posits that quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as entanglement and superposition, may play an important part in the brain's function and could explain consciousness.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to nanotechnology:
Nanomechanics is a branch of nanoscience studying fundamental mechanical properties of physical systems at the nanometer scale. Nanomechanics has emerged on the crossroads of biophysics, classical mechanics, solid-state physics, statistical mechanics, materials science, and quantum chemistry. As an area of nanoscience, nanomechanics provides a scientific foundation of nanotechnology.
Andrew James Fisher is Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. His team is part of the Condensed Matter and Materials Physics group, and based in the London Centre for Nanotechnology.
Nadrian C. "Ned" Seeman is an American nanotechnologist and crystallographer known for inventing the field of DNA nanotechnology.
Michael Lee Roukes is an American experimental physicist, nanoscientist, and the Frank J. Roshek Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Kang Lung Wang is recognized as the discoverer of chiral Majorana fermions by IUPAP. Born in Lukang, Changhua, Taiwan, in 1941, Wang received his BS (1964) degree from National Cheng Kung University and his MS (1966) and PhD (1970) degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1970 to 1972 he was the Assistant Professor at MIT. From 1972 to 1979, he worked at the General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center as a physicist/engineer. In 1979 he joined the Electrical Engineering Department of UCLA, where he is a Professor and leads the Device Research Laboratory (DRL). He served as Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at UCLA from 1993 to 1996. His research activities include semiconductor nano devices, and nanotechnology; self-assembly growth of quantum structures and cooperative assembly of quantum dot arrays Si-based Molecular Beam Epitaxy, quantum structures and devices; Nano-epitaxy of hetero-structures; Spintronics materials and devices; Electron spin and coherence properties of SiGe and InAs quantum structures for implementation of spin-based quantum information; microwave devices. He was the inventor of strained layer MOSFET, quantum SRAM cell, and band-aligned superlattices. He holds 45 patents and published over 700 papers. He is a passionate teacher and has mentored hundreds of students, including MS and PhD candidates. Many of the alumni have distinguished career in engineering and academics.
A nanoscale plasmonic motor is a type of nanomotor, converting light energy to rotational motion at nanoscale. It is constructed from pieces of gold sheet in a gammadion shape, embedded within layers of silica. When irradiated with light from a laser, the gold pieces rotate. The functioning is explained by the quantum concept of the plasmon. This type of nanomotor is much smaller than other types, and its operation can be controlled by varying the frequency of the incident light.
The applications of nanotechnology, commonly incorporate industrial, medicinal, and energy uses. These include more durable construction materials, therapeutic drug delivery, and higher density hydrogen fuel cells that are environmentally friendly. Being that nanoparticles and nanodevices are highly versatile through modification of their physiochemical properties, they have found uses in nanoscale electronics, cancer treatments, vaccines, hydrogen fuel cells, and nanographene batteries.
Paul A. Benioff is an American physicist who helped pioneer the field of quantum computing. Benioff is best known for his research in quantum information theory during the 1970s and 80s that demonstrated the theoretical possibility of quantum computers by describing the first quantum mechanical model of a computer. In this work, Benioff showed that a computer could operate under the laws of quantum mechanics by describing a Schrödinger equation description of Turing machines. Benioff's body of work in quantum information theory has continued on to the present day and has encompassed quantum computers, quantum robots, and the relationship between foundations in logic, math, and physics.
In quantum computing, quantum memory is the quantum-mechanical version of ordinary computer memory. Whereas ordinary memory stores information as binary states, quantum memory stores a quantum state for later retrieval. These states hold useful computational information known as qubits. Unlike the classical memory of everyday computers, the states stored in quantum memory can be in a quantum superposition, giving much more practical flexibility in quantum algorithms than classical information storage.