Latest Trapped ion quantum computer Stories

2010-10-05 13:48:40

An important step "“"“ one that is essential to the ultimate construction of a quantum computer "“"“ was taken for the first time by physicists at UC Santa Barbara. The discovery is published in the current issue of the journal Nature. The research involves the entanglement of three quantum bits of information, or qubits. Before now, entanglement research in the solid state has only been developed with two qubits. The UCSB finding comes from a collaboration of the...

2010-09-30 14:38:50

The rules that govern the world of the very small, quantum mechanics, are known for being bizarre. One of the strangest tenets is something called quantum entanglement, in which two or more objects (such as particles of light, called photons) become inextricably linked, so that measuring certain properties of one object reveals information about the other(s), even if they are separated by thousands of miles. Einstein found the consequences of entanglement so unpalatable he famously dubbed it...

2010-09-27 12:08:56

Entanglement is a fascinating property connecting quantum systems. Albert Einstein called it the "spooky action at a distance". This bizarre coupling can link particles, even if they are located on opposite sides of the galaxy. The strength of their connections is behind the promising quantum computers, the dream machines capable of quick and efficient computations. The team lead by Rainer Blatt at the Institute of Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck has been working very...

2010-09-01 21:07:08

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used a small crystal of ions (electrically charged atoms) to detect forces at the scale of yoctonewtons. Measurements of slight forces"”one yoctonewton is equivalent to the weight of a single copper atom on Earth"”can be useful in force microscopy, nanoscale science, and tests of fundamental physics theories.A newton is already a small unit: roughly the force of Earth's gravity on a small apple. A...

2010-07-08 13:45:17

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated an ion trap with a built-in optical fiber that collects light emitted by single ions (electrically charged atoms), allowing quantum information stored in the ions to be measured. The advance could simplify quantum computer design and serve as a step toward swapping information between matter and light in future quantum networks. Described in a forthcoming issue of Physical Review Letters,* the new device...

2010-05-26 10:09:48

Despite a steady improvement in the speed of conventional computers during the last few decades, certain types of problems remain computationally difficult to solve. Quantum computers hold the promise of offering a new route to solving some classes of these problems, such as breaking encryptions. The tremendous computing power of these devices stems from their use of quantum systems, called "qubits," which can exist in a "superposition" of two states at the same time "“ in stark...

2010-04-01 13:35:00

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built and tested a device for trapping electrically charged atoms (ions) that potentially could process dozens of ions at once with the most versatile control of any trap demonstrated to date. The novel design is a first attempt to systematically scale up from traps that hold a few ions in a few locations to large trap arrays that can process many ions simultaneously, with the ultimate goal of building a practical...

2009-11-15 19:49:57

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated the first "universal" programmable quantum information processor able to run any program allowed by quantum mechanics"”the rules governing the submicroscopic world"”using two quantum bits (qubits) of information. The processor could be a module in a future quantum computer, which theoretically could solve some important problems that are intractable today. The NIST demonstration, described in...

2009-10-05 13:25:51

Combining 6 photons together results in highly robust qubits Exploiting quantum mechanics for transmitting information is a tantalizing possibility because it promises secure, high speed communications. Unfortunately, the fragility of methods for storing and sending quantum information has so far frustrated the enterprise. Now a team of physicists in Sweden and Poland have shown that photons that encode data have strength in numbers. Their experiment is reported in Physical Review Letters and...

2009-08-06 14:55:00

Raising prospects for building a practical quantum computer, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated sustained, reliable information processing operations on electrically charged atoms (ions). The new work, described in the August 6 issue of Science Express,* overcomes significant hurdles in scaling up ion-trapping technology from small demonstrations to larger quantum processors.In the new demonstration, NIST researchers repeatedly performed...

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