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minormajorseventh t1_j96fwyo wrote

Theoretically, couldn’t you use the spin direction of an electron as yet another means of computational processing strength in microchips? Like, if a microchip consists of a bunch of atomic “switches” that are either on or off, and you had another controllable variable (spin direction) you could incorporate, wouldn’t that mean that you could have dramatically greater chip processing power? Full disclosure I have no clue what I am talking about.


Sherlock-Holmie t1_j96i2m4 wrote

Some quick research shows that there are people that have been trying to develop electron spin-based transistors for about 30 years now. The name of the transistor is spin transistor and the field of engineering based around developing stuff using electron’s spin property is called spintronics.

It doesn’t seem like they’ve had much success, but handling things with single electrons is extremely challenging since they’re quantum systems. Everything is probabilistic in nature and challenging to manipulate. Current transistors are having physical limitations due to being so small that electrons can tunnel to where they shouldn’t be (or so I’ve been told. I haven’t fact checked this. I’m not a hardware guy)

I’m pretty cynical towards particle physics, but I’m all for attempting challenging engineering