Nearly 60 years ago, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Nicolaas Bloembergen predicted an exciting new phenomenon called nuclear electric resonance. But no one has been able to demonstrate it in action – until now.
Actual evidence of nuclear electric resonance has now been discovered by accident in a lab at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, thanks to faulty equipment. The breakthrough gives scientists a new level of control over nuclei, and could seriously speed up the development of quantum computers.
Central to the phenomenon is the idea of controlling the spin of individual atoms using electrical rather than magnetic fields. That means more precise and more miniaturised management of nuclei, which could have profound impacts in a variety of fields.