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back to article 'Spintronic' computing gets closer with laser 'lectron discovery

Boffins in Kansas report that they have made a breakthrough in "spintronics" - the postulated future technology which might replace today's conventional electronics and allow much more powerful IT hardware. As the name suggests, spintronics uses the spin of an electron to store information rather than its charge. If it can be …

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WTF?

Heisenburg?

I'm a bit uncertain about this, but if we can monitor the electron's spin, does that mean we don't know where it is...

Is it that junction that has a signal or the one next to it?

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Boffin

Spin direction isn't the same as momentum

Also I think you also usually know what nucleus the electron is flying around, otherwise it would be zipping off through space as beta radiation. Though it would be funny if your corrupted hardisk suddenly became radioactive.

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Paris Hilton

Uncertainty

Or we don't know how fast it's going (or which direction).

Paris - she knows where it is and how fast it's going.

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Boffin

Not spin

It is only momentum and position that are related in this way, not spin.

Well, not _only_ momentum and position, but they would seem to be the relevant conjugate pair in this case...

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@max allen

The uncertainty principal links velocity and position, not spin.

The more accurately you measure the position the less accurately you know the velocity, and vice-versa.

At least that's my understanding of it. I'm sure someone with actual physics training will correct me :)

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Spintronics

The art of writing press releases about speculative technologies.

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Boffin

Quantum cryptography

Since this is dealing with 'very small things' could electron spin (in a wire) replace polarised photons (in optic fibre) for secure communications and key exchange?

Would love a physicist to comment.

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Implications...

Has anyone thought of the hi-fi implications of electron spin?

If people can be persuaded to pay a fortune for speaker cables specially made from wire with component strands supposedly drawn in a particular direction, allegedly to ease the flow of the (AC) electrons shuffling backwards and forwards inside them, surely someone can make cables with a special twist, to ease the flow of *spinning* electrons?

After all, it stands to reason that electrons for the left-hand speaker should be made to spin in the opposite direction from those going to the right-hand one, and a central speaker should use a spin-balanced cable?

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Well, I wasn't sure

But then when you said "it stands to reason", I realise you must be right :)

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WTF?

I have no idea...

...but I know a man who probably thinks he does:

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/08/18/can-sata-cables-make-your-music-sound-better/

Malcolm Steward could probably venture an opinion on the subject.

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Joke

Re: It stands to reason

Reason stands for no man.

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Did he really say that?

> “We have been using the charge of the electron for several decades,” says physics prof Hui Zhao

Welcome to the hyperreal world, Professor.

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@ Luther Blissett

hyperreal ?? dunno how you mean that....

er, ANY guy who knows the physics of semiconductors will know, it is the 'majority mobile charge carriers' that enable diodes and transistors to work.... and this was around 1950!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor_device#Semiconductor_device_fundamentals,

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Oh dear

Never mind Heisenberg, just think of the FTL networking based on Bell's theorem. http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/bell.html

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