August 1/8, 2001   

   Tool reads quantum bits
Carrying out one promising scheme to build quantum computer chips means embedding individual atoms in silicon. But once that's accomplished, you still need a way to read the quantum bits. A physics experiment that measures very cold electrons could be the key.
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Study shows fiber has room to grow
Cramming lots of data signals onto a fiber-optic cable results in signals interfering with each other in random ways, much like the chatter of a crowded cocktail party. Researchers find there's plenty of room to expand if you make the signals strong enough to be heard but not drown each other out.

Search tool builds encyclopedia
For most Web search engines, the idea of packaging results boils down to little more than slapping a banner ad over them. One research team aims to make the search experience more like cracking open an encyclopedia.

Positioned atoms advance quantum chips
Building quantum computer chips means positioning particles as precisely as physically possible. Poking holes in a hydrogen film puts phosphorus atoms where researchers want them.

Electron beam welds nanotubes
Once just a nuisance, the buildup of hydrocarbons on carbon nanotubes turns out to be a ready-made solder when you zap the tubes with a beam of electrons. The result is a sturdy, electrically conductive weld.

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