Nav: Home

Speeding-up quantum computing using giant atomic ions

April 15, 2020

An international team of researchers have found a new way to speed up quantum computing that could pave the way for huge leaps forward in computer processing power.

Scientists from the University of Nottingham and University of Stockholm have sped-up trapped ion quantum computing using a new experimental approach - trapped Rydberg ions; their results have just been published in Nature.

In conventional digital computers, logic gates consist of operational bits that are silicon based electronic devices. Information is encoded in two classical states ("0" and "1") of a bit. This means that capacities of a classical computer increase linearly with the number of bits. To deal with emerging scientific and industrial problems, large computing facilities or supercomputers are built.

Quantum entanglement enhancing capacity

A quantum computer is operated using quantum gates, i.e. basic circuit operations on quantum bits (qubits) that are made of microscopic quantum particles, such as atoms and molecules. A fundamentally new mechanism in a quantum computer is the utilisation of quantum entanglement, which can bind two or a group of qubits together such that their state can no longer be described by classical physics. The capacity of a quantum computer increases exponentially with the number of qubits. The efficient usage of quantum entanglement drastically enhances the capacity of a quantum computer to be able to deal with challenging problems in areas including cryptography, material, and medicine sciences.

Among the different physical systems that can be used to make a quantum computer, trapped ions have led the field for years. The main obstacle towards a large-scale trapped ion quantum computer is the slow-down of computing operations as the system is scaled-up. This new research may have found the answer to this problem.

The experimental work was conducted by the group of Markus Hennrich at SU using giant Rydberg ions, 100,000,000 times larger than normal atoms or ions. These huge ions are highly interactive, and exchange quantum information in less than a microsecond. The interaction between them creates quantum entanglement. Chi Zhang from the University of Stockholm and colleagues used the entangling interaction to carry out a quantum computing operation (an entangling gate) around 100 times faster than is typical in trapped ion systems.

Chi Zhang explains, "Usually quantum gates slow down in bigger systems. This isn't the case for our quantum gate and Rydberg ion gates in general! Our gate might allow quantum computers to be scaled up to sizes where they are truly useful!"

Theoretical calculations supporting the experiment and investigating error sources have been conducted by Weibin Li (University of Nottingham, UK) and Igor Lesanovsky (University of Nottingham, UK, and University of Tübingen, Germany). Their theoretical work confirmed that there is indeed no slowdown expected once the ion crystals become larger, highlighting the prospect of a scalable quantum computer.

Weibin Li, Assistant Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham adds: "Our theoretical analysis shows that a trapped Rydberg ion quantum computer is not only fast, but also scalable, making large-scale quantum computation possible without worrying about environmental noise. The joint theoretical and experimental work demonstrate that quantum computation based on trapped Rydberg ions opens a new route to implement fast quantum gates and at the same time might overcome many obstacles found in other systems."

Currently the team is working to entangle larger numbers of ions and achieve even faster quantum computing operations.
-end-


University of Nottingham

Related Quantum Computing Articles:

New detector breakthrough pushes boundaries of quantum computing
A new paper published in Nature shows potential for graphene bolometers to become a game-changer for quantum technology
A molecular approach to quantum computing
Molecules in quantum superposition could help in the development of quantum computers.
Cosmic rays may soon stymie quantum computing
Infinitesimally low levels of radiation, such as from incoming cosmic rays, may soon stymie progress in quantum computing.
UVA pioneers study of genetic diseases with quantum computing
Scientists are harnessing the mind-bending potential of quantum computers to help us understand genetic diseases - even before quantum computers are a thing.
New method predicts spin dynamics of materials for quantum computing
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have developed a theoretical foundation and new computational tools for predicting a material's spin dynamics, a key property for building solid-state quantum computing platforms and other applications of spintronics.
Speeding-up quantum computing using giant atomic ions
An international team of researchers have found a new way to speed up quantum computing that could pave the way for huge leaps forward in computer processing power.
Boson particles discovery provides insights for quantum computing
Researchers working on a U.S. Army project discovered a key insight for the development of quantum devices and quantum computers.
In leap for quantum computing, silicon quantum bits establish a long-distance relationship
In an important step forward in the quest to build a quantum computer using silicon-based hardware, researchers at Princeton have succeeded in making possible the exchange of information between two qubits located relatively far apart -- about the length of a grain of rice, which is a considerable distance on a computer chip.
Diversity may be key to reducing errors in quantum computing
In quantum computing, as in team building, a little diversity can help get the job done better, computer scientists have discovered.
'Valley states' in this 2D material could potentially be used for quantum computing
New research on 2-dimensional tungsten disulfide (WS2) could open the door to advances in quantum computing.
More Quantum Computing News and Quantum Computing Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Sound And Silence
Sound surrounds us, from cacophony even to silence. But depending on how we hear, the world can be a different auditory experience for each of us. This hour, TED speakers explore the science of sound. Guests on the show include NPR All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly, neuroscientist Jim Hudspeth, writer Rebecca Knill, and sound designer Dallas Taylor.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer
With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there's been a lot of debate about how much power the Supreme Court should really have. We think of the Supreme Court justices as all-powerful beings, issuing momentous rulings from on high. But they haven't always been so, you know, supreme. On this episode, we go all the way back to the case that, in a lot of ways, started it all.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.