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Limitation Exposed In Promising Quantum Computing Material: Metallic Surfaces no Longer Protected as Topological Insulators become Thinner

Vikram Deshpande in Lab

Physicists have theorized that a new type of material, called a three dimensional (3-D) topological insulator (TI), could be a good candidate from which to create qubits that will be resilient from errors and protected from losing their quantum information. This material has both an insulating interior and metallic top and bottom surfaces that conduct electricity. Few studies exist that have experimentally tested how TIs behave in real life. A new study from the University of Utah has found that when the insulating layers are as thin as 16 quintuple atomic layers across, the top and bottom metallic surfaces begin to influence each other and destroy their metallic properties.

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Physics Professors Guide Utah Students to Win 2019 CERN Beamline Competition

Winners for 2019 CERN Beamline for Schools Competition

Two teams of high school students, one from West High School in Salt Lake City, and the other from a school in the Netherlands, have won the 2019 CERN Beamline for Schools Competition. This is a huge accomplishment! The West High School team was guided by Department professors Charlie Jui and Pearl Sandick.

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the Spectrum--Spring 2019

Cover of the Spectrum--Spring 2019

the Spectrum is the Department of Physics & Astronomy newsletter. Published twice a year, it contains information about our faculty, research, and students.

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Last Updated: 7/10/19