NIST physicist and Nobel Prize-winner David Wineland adjusts an ultraviolet laser beam used to manipulate ions in a high-vacuum apparatus containing an "ion trap." These devices have been used to demonstrate the basic operations required for a quantum computer. Copyright Geoffrey Wheeler/National Institute of Standards and Technology hide caption

itoggle caption Copyright Geoffrey Wheeler/National Institute of Standards and Technology

It was science, and a sneeze, that helped Dmitri Krioukov persuade a judge that he had obeyed the sign. Mark Memmott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Memmott/NPR

This visualization shows the electron density in a quantum dot, an artificial atom. Wei Qiao, David Ebert, Marek Korkusinski, Gerhard Klimeck/NCN, Purdue University hide caption

itoggle caption Wei Qiao, David Ebert, Marek Korkusinski, Gerhard Klimeck/NCN, Purdue University