Physicists at Ohio State University have successfully sent an electron “down” a wire made of diamond, a first that could mean new methods of transferring data inside computer chips. As you can imagine, these aren’t wires in a traditional sense in that they conduct electricity. Instead, the physicists were able to pass a magnetic spin effect down the wire “like a row of sports spectators doing ‘the wave.'” Spin has long been seen as the solution to passing data via quantum computers and the researchers found that diamond transmitted the signals better than metal.
The wire cost about $100 to make and was completely synthetic. To make it carry the spin, they doctored the diamond with nitrogen – one atom of the gas per three million diamond atoms – which allowed it to “spread out” and carry the dynamic information.
“If this wire were part of a computer, it would transfer information. There’s no question that you’d be able to tell at the far end of the wire what the spin state of the original particle was at the beginning,” lead investigator Chris Hammel said in a release.
Obviously you’re not going to be turning your wedding ring into a microcomputer any time soon. The scientists chilled the wire to -452 degrees Fahrenheit to get to carry the data and room temperature use is still far in the future.