Your computer memory is magnetic affair of one sort or another. (We're assuming you've stopped using Punch Cards by now)Your processor is an electrical festival. The two have developed into a very powerful computing/storage machine indeed, but they have essentially always run on two separate tracks, one relying on the other to handle any increased capacity. Now researchers at the University of Copenhagen have come up with a way to blur the line and combine electricity and magnetism into a new transistor concept.
Jonas Hauptmann, PhD student, has carried out the experiments under supervision of Professor Poul Erik Lindelof.
Jonas Hauptmann says: "We are the first to obtain direct electrical control of the smallest magnets in nature, one single electron spin. This has vast perspectives in the long run. In our experiments, we use carbon nanotubes as transistors. We have placed the nanotubes between magnetic electrodes and we have shown, that the direction of a single electron spin caught on the nanotube can be controlled directly by an electric potential. One can picture this single electron spin caught on the nanotube as an artificial atom."
The ability to control a single electron spin has been proposed as a possibility for a few years now, but this is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate it. As always, we at HotHardware applaud anything that's: Better, Faster, Cheaper. We bet this concept will be all three in the not-too-distant future.