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Chance effect of lab's fluorescent lights leads to discovery

An accidental discovery of a “quantum Etch-a-Sketch” that may lead to the next generation of advanced computers and quantum microchips has been made by team of scientists from Penn State University and the University of Chicago. The researchers accidentally discovered a new way of using beams of light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits on topological insulators, a unique class of materials with intriguing electronic properties. The research, led by Nitin Samarth, professor and Downsbrough Head of Physics at Penn State, and David D. Awschalom, Liew Family Professor and deputy director in the Institute of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, was published in the October 9 issue of Science Advances, an online journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.”

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