Tag Archives: women

From little things, big things grow

Michelle Simmons’ work building silicon atomic-scale devices is paving the way towards a quantum computer with the capacity to process information exponentially faster than current computers.

She is also Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, acknowledged to be a world-leader in the field of quantum computing—which uses the spin, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons or atomic nuclei to represent data.

Michelle Simmons is one of only 11 Australians elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Credit: UNSW
Michelle Simmons is one of only 11 Australians elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Credit: UNSW

In the past five years, Michelle’s research group and collaborators have made a number of notable advances. They have fabricated the world’s first single-atom transistor in single-crystal silicon, and the world’s narrowest conducting wires, also in silicon, just four atoms wide and one atom tall with the current-carrying capacity of copper.

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Shared data reveals radio bursts, and a lunch break

In May 2014, a team led by PhD candidate Emily Petroff from Swinburne University was the first to see ‘fast radio bursts’ (FRBs) live, using the Parkes radio telescope in central New South Wales. The search was triggered by signals found in recycled data. They also discovered that someone was opening the kitchen microwave.

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