Ion Trap Quantum Computer

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At the heart of this quantum computer aligned ions dance to the pulse of the laser.

Illus. Alex Rommel © 2022 Universität Innsbruck

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Quantum computers provide us with a platform to make use of the quirky nature of quantum mechanics to manipulate quantum particles as we desire. In the race for the first scalable quantum computer, many architectures have been put forward. Among the strongest contenders are photonic circuits, superconducting circuits based on the josephson junction, or trapped ions. Yet, it remains to be seen who will emerge victorious in this race for progress.

In an ion trap quantum computer, delicate magnetic and electric fields hold charged particles, called ions, expanded in near vacuum. Like the semiconductor in your home computer, the ions are the fundamental carriers of quantum information and laser light is used to manipulate them and create entanglement. A designed sequence of laser pulses implements a computation and a bright or dark fluorescence of the ions at the end reveals the encoded result.

Illus. Alex Rommel © 2022 Universität Innsbruck

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Linking ion traps together

Building a quantum computer from a network of ion traps.

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