Bridezilla’s Nightmare: World’s Smallest Diamond Ring

Sarah: You may remember me having a light-hearted whinge about the physics prowess of Andrew Greentree, a high-school colleague (see my Bridge 8 blog Coffee, Solid Light etc. dated 1 April 2008). It turns out Andrew’s wife Babs Fairchild is no slouch, either.  A recent story on the ABC Science website details the creation of the world’s smallest diamond ring, a University of Melbourne project in which Babs was a key player. Carved in its entirety from a small sliver of diamond, the ring is 5 micrometres across and 300 nanometres thick. Babs and her colleagues hope the carbon loop will allow them to manipulate single ‘packets’ of light (photons), with a long-term view of creating quantum physics-based mega computers.  Such computers rely on ‘qubits’ to store and process information, and it turns out that diamonds offer a unique way to produce and manipulate photons and qubits.  So there you have it. Small diamond rings may be a bridezilla’s nightmare, but just might just be the next big thing to contribute to the generation of quantum computers.

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