ion programmable module for quantum computing
Quantum computers promise to be an ideal way to find quick solutions to all problems with difficult calculation facing science today, but build large-scale quantum computers and general use is a problem fraught with technical challenges.
To date, many research groups have created small but functional quantum computers. Combining a handful of atoms, electrons or other particles or tiny objects, today there are many researchers who demonstrate quantum effects on a regular basis, and perform simple quantum algorithms (small programs dedicated to solving specific problems).
However, these devices are often laboratory limited to run a single program or are limited to fixed patterns of interactions between their quantum constituents. Making a quantum computer that can run precisely the right kind of physical system and a sufficiently wide range of programming tools arbitrary algorithms. The, bordered by fields produced by nearby electrodes, ions are one of the most promising platforms to meet these needs.
The team of Christopher Monroe of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science at the University of Maryland, all these entities in the United States, presented the first module fully programmable and reconfigurable quantum computer. The new device, listed as a module because of its potential to connect with copies of himself, takes advantage of the unique properties offered by ions trapped to run any algorithm of five quantum bits, or qubits (qubit is the basic unit of information on a computer quantum).
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The new module is based on decades of research into the capture and control of ions. Using conventional techniques but also introduces new methods for the control and measurement. This includes handling many ions at a time, using a set of highly focused lasers and detection channels dedicated to serving the brightness of each ion.
The Joint Quantum Institute is an organization dedicated to research in this field and is driven by the University of Maryland, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Harvard, the three entities in the United States.