June 13, 2012
Physicists have just upped their ante: Not only have they split atoms but, even trickier, they've put them back together.
Their secret? Quantum physics. A team of scientists was able to "split" an atom into its two possible spin states, up and down, and measure the difference between them even after the atom resumed the properties of a single state.
The research wasn't just playtime for quantum physicists: It could be a steppingstone toward the development of a quantum computer, a way to simulate quantum systems (as plant photosynthesis and other natural processes appear to be) that would help solve complex problems far more efficiently than present-day computers can.
http://www.livescience.com/20926-quantu ... split.html