Mainz Interface Could Be Big Step Toward Quantum Computers

Ah, quantum computing. When will all your magical, paradigm-shifting awesomeness arrive and save us all from the ubiquitous 1's and 0's that define our computing day? What's this? A "Mainz interface?" What's that?

As physicists at Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany explain it, this early stage, experimental interface uses laser light and an extremely thin piece of tapered glass. By beaming the laser through the glass, they are able to trap individual atoms—in this case cesium—at the center, which is allegedly thinner than the wavelength of light being passed through it.

I'm confused just stenographying it, but apparently this is a major step toward quantum computing, as the trapped atoms actually couple with the space surrounding the fiber (you can see them in pink, getting trapped both in the glass and the surrounding space simultaneously). There's a diagram, above, and I'm going to assume you have Advil in your cabinet. [Mainz via Engadget]