Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Racetrack ion trap is a contender in quantum computing quest

Date:
April 4, 2010
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Physicists have built and tested a device for trapping ions that potentially could process dozens at once with the most versatile control of any trap demonstrated to date, an advance towards the ultimate goal of building a practical quantum computer.

This is a photograph of NIST racetrack ion trap under development as possible hardware for a future quantum computer. The 150 zones for storing, transporting and probing ions (electrically charged atoms) are located in the center ring structure and the six channels radiating out from its edges.
Credit: Credit: J. Amini/NIST

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 quantum computer.

Related Articles


If they can be built, quantum computers would rely on the curious rules of quantum mechanics to solve certain currently intractable problems, such as breaking today's most widely used data encryption codes. The same NIST research group has previously demonstrated various components and operations of a potential quantum computer using ions as quantum bits (qubits). The trap structure is only one component, analogous to the wiring in today's computers. Lasers are also needed to control and use the quantum data, as transistors do for classical bits today.

Made of a quartz wafer coated with gold in an oval shape roughly 2 by 4 millimeters, NIST's "racetrack" ion trap features 150 work zones where qubits -- ions encoding 1s and 0s in their "spins" -- could be stored and transported using electric fields and manipulated with laser beams for information processing. The trap theoretically could be scaled up to a much larger number of zones and mass fabricated in a variety of materials. Preliminary testing of the trap, including loading of 10 magnesium ions at once and transport of an ion through a junction between channels, is described in a new paper.

Geometry is a key feature of the new trap design. This is the first demonstration of ion transport through a junction in a trap where all electrodes are located on one flat surface, a more scalable design than the multilayer ion traps originally developed. The various electrodes are used to position and move the ions. At least three adjacent electrodes are needed to hold an ion in a dedicated energy "well." This well and the ion can then be moved around to different locations by applying voltages to several other electrodes. The modular design would allow the addition of extra rings, which could significantly increase capabilities, according to Jason Amini, who designed the trap while a NIST postdoctoral researcher and is now at the Georgia Tech Quantum Institute in Atlanta.

"The trap design demonstrates the use of a basic component library that can be quickly assembled to form structures optimized for a particular experiment," Amini says. "We can imagine rapid development of traps tailored to individual experiments."

NIST scientists are continuing development of the racetrack ion trap as well as other designs. The new work was funded in part by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the Office of Naval Research. Four of the 10 authors of the new paper were postdoctoral or guest researchers at NIST at the time of the research and are currently affiliated with the Georgia Tech Quantum Institute, Atlanta, Ga.; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa; Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore; and Institut Neel-CNRS, Grenoble, France.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J M Amini, H Uys, J H Wesenberg, S Seidelin, J Britton, J J Bollinger, D Leibfried, C Ospelkaus, A P VanDevender, D J Wineland. Toward scalable ion traps for quantum information processing. New Journal of Physics, 2010; 12 (3): 033031 DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/12/3/033031

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Racetrack ion trap is a contender in quantum computing quest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401130336.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2010, April 4). Racetrack ion trap is a contender in quantum computing quest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401130336.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Racetrack ion trap is a contender in quantum computing quest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401130336.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins