In Brief
Physicists have discovered or confirmed several properties of the compound samarium hexaboride that raise hopes for finding the silicon of the quantum era.
  • The scientists used a technique called torque magnetometry to observe tell-tale oscillations in the material’s response to a magnetic field that reveal how electric current moves through it
  • This deeper understanding of samarium hexaboride raises the possibility that engineers might one day route the flow of electric current in quantum computers like they do on silicon in conventional electronics
  • The drawback of samarium hexaboride is that the researchers only observed these behaviors at ultracold temperatures.