(ScienceDaily) 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. 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.
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.