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Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory

A quantum internet promises completely secure communication. But using quantum bits or qubits to carry information requires a radically new piece of hardware -- a quantum memory. This atomic-scale device needs to store quantum information and convert it into light to transmit across the network. A major challenge to this vision is that qubits are extremely sensitive to their environment, even the vibrations of nearby atoms can disrupt their ability to remember information. So far, researchers have relied on extremely low temperatures to quiet vibrations, but achieving those temperatures for large-scale quantum networks is prohibitively expensive. Now, researchers have developed a quantum memory solution that is as simple as tuning a guitar. The researchers engineered diamond strings that can be tuned to quiet a qubit's environment and improve memory from tens to several hundred nanoseconds, enough time to do many operations on a quantum chip.

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