(SciTechDaily) Trapped Rydberg ions can be the next step towards scaling up quantum computers to sizes where they can be practically usable.
A Stockholm University research group is using giant Rydberg ions, 100 million times larger than normal atoms or ions. These huge ions are highly interactive and, therefore, can exchange quantum information in less than a microsecond.
“In a sense, Rydberg ions form small antennas for exchanging quantum information and thus make it possible to realize particularly fast quantum gates, which are the ‘basic building blocks’ of a quantum computer”, explains Markus Hennrich, Department of Physics, Stockholm University, and group leader from the Stockholm University team. “The interaction between Rydberg ions is not based on crystal vibrations, as with ions trapped in crystal form, but on the exchange of photons. The fast interaction between the Rydberg ions can be used to create quantum entanglement.”
“We used this interaction to carry out a quantum computing operation (an entangling gate) that is around 100 times faster than is typical in trapped ion systems”, explains Chi Zhang, researcher at the Department of Physics, Stockholm University.