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Applying a magnetic field causes current to flow more easily in one direction along the nanowire than in the opposite one. (Image: Department of Physics, University of Basel)

Quantum one-way street in topological insulator nanowires
Very thin wires made of a topological insulator could enable highly stable qubits, the building blocks of future quantum computers. Scientists see a new result in topological insulator devices as an important step toward realizing the technology’s potential.

Uni News University of Basel
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Although the quantum dots produced by the Basel researchers are different, they emit  identical light particles. (Image: Department of Physics, University of Basel)

Twin photons from unequal sources
Identical light particles (photons) are important for many technologies that are based on quantum physics. A team of researchers from Basel and Bochum has now produced identical photons with different quantum dots – an important step toward applications such as tap-proof communications and the quantum internet.

Uni News University of Basel
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The newly developed qubits are based on so-called holes (red) whose spin (arrow) in one or the other direction stores the information. They are arranged in an architecture based on silicon transistors. (Illustration: NCCR Spin)

“Hot” spin quantum bits in silicon transistors
Quantum bits (qubits) are the smallest units of information in a quantum computer. Currently, one of the biggest challenges in developing this kind of powerful computer is scalability. A research group at the University of Basel, working with the IBM Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon, has made a breakthrough in this area.

Uni News University of Basel
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Illustration of the nuclear pore. (Image: Biozentrum, University of Basel)

Safeguarding the cell nucleus
The nucleus is guarded by a highly secure door, the so-called nuclear pore, thatcontrols the transport of substances from the cytoplasm to the cell nucleus and back. Aresearch group at the University of Basel has now shown that different shuttle proteinsoccupy the nuclear pore to prevent unsolicited leakage of molecules. These proteinsform an escape-proof, failsafe mechanism by compensating for one another to fortifythe pore.

Uni News University of Basel
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Light is used to couple a vibrating membrane to a cloud of atoms in order to form a control loop. The two different quantum systems — consisting of the membrane and the spins — therefore regulate one another’s temperature with no need for external measurement. (Image: Department of Physics, University of Basel)

Cooling matter from a distance
Researchers from the University of Basel have succeeded in forming a control loop consisting of two quantum systems separated by a distance of one meter. Within this loop, one quantum system — a vibrating membrane — is cooled by the other — a cloud of atoms, and the two systems are coupled to one another by laser light. Interfaces such as this allow different kinds of quantum systems to interact with one another even over relatively large distances and will play a key role in quantum technologies of the future.

Uni News  University of Basel
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Thomas Mortelmans developed a rapid test for infections with SARS-CoV-2 at PSI. (Photo: Paul Scherrer Institute/Mahir Dzambegovic)

New rapid test could detect coronavirus and flu simultaneously
Researchers from the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a rapid test for Covid-19 with a novel functional principle. Although it requires further testing and improvements, the initial results are promising: As well as determining whether a Covid-19 infection is present, the test also promises to provide information on the status of the disease. It could also detect other diseases and different coronavirus variants.

Media release PSI and University of Basel
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Prof. Dr. Stefan Willisch, Departement Chemie, Universität Basel (Foto: Departement Chemie, Universität Basel)

Congratulations to Stefan Willitsch

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has awarded Professor Stefan Willitsch from the Department of Chemistry with a highly endowed SNSF Advanced Grant.

In his project, chemist Prof. Stefan Willitsch will investigate how approaches from quantum logic can be used to study collisions of molecules and decipher the dynamics of chemical reactions.

Uni News University of Basel