St. Petersburg University, Ioffe Physical and Technical University and the German Universities of Dortmund, Bochum and Paderborn have established the first Russian-German International Collaborative Research Centre.
The project is aimed at the study of the properties of spins, minute magnetic moments that elementary quasi-particles spreading in semiconductor crystals possess. Study of the interactions, dynamics and lifetime of spins is a most important fundamental objective of modern quantum physics.
Thanks to a 12-year funding period, new research trends can be developed within the framework of this project. The existing schools of thought can be supported, a comfortable environment can be created for the education and growth of the research staff.
The German party represented by the German Scientific Society (DFG) provides the annual funding making up more than 2 mln Euro. The Russian party, on behalf of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), provides about 15 mln rubles per year.
'Fundamental science – that is what unites the world, and the creation of such a project now runs the scientific and technical blockade of our country', says Alexey Kavokin, one of the Russian coordinators of the International Collaborative Research Centre. He is Head of SPbU Spin Optics Laboratory and Professor at the University of Southampton, UK.
The centre's research programme encompasses 22 projects, each of them having both a German and a Russian head as well as requiring a doctoral or postdoctoral student's research work from each of these countries. Doctoral students are going to spend six months or even more in the partner laboratory while working on their theses for three years. The total of 150 Russian and German scientists will take part in this project.
How to Save Billions Dollars Worth of Energy?
In 2015, the International Collaborative Research Centre started working. It unites more than 150 scientists from Russia and Germany by a single goal: to study the properties of spins, minute magnetic moments that elementary quasi-particles spreading in semiconductor crystals possess.
Spins are information bits in future optical and quantum computers. Study of their interactions, dynamics and lifetime is a most important fundamental objective of modern quantum physics.
'If a spin replaces an electric charge as information carrier, a technological revolution will take place in communication systems and information technology. Today, five per cent of the whole energy produced by the humanity is spent on information storage and its transmission via the Internet. Keep that in mind every time when you feel your laptop heating up. If we learn to manipulate spins like we do that to electrons, the information transmission speed will increase substantially while the power consumption will drop so that we'll be able to save dozens of billions of dollars. And computers using spin or optical transistors will not overheat and can work longer without battery charging,' said Alexey Kavokin, Head of SPbU Spin Optics Laboratory and one of the Russian coordinators of the International Collaborative Research Centre.
'We are carrying out high risk research – that's what it's called. We can make a breakthrough, but we can also fail,' noted Manfred Bayer, Professor at TU-Dortmund, German Head of the project. 'If it goes well, the practical implementation of our research results will be possible with a time period of 10 - 60 years.'
Source: St. Petersburg University