I will give a brief general introduction to quantum information processing and then discuss experiments towards Quantum Information Processing (QIP) and Quantum Simulation (QS) with trapped ions. Most requirements for QIP and QS have been demonstrated in this system, with two big challenges remaining: Improving operation fidelity and scaling up to larger numbers of qubits.
The architecture pursued at the Ion Storage Group at NIST is based on quantum information stored in long lived internal (hyperfine) states of the ions. We investigate the use of laser beams and microwave fields to induce both single-qubit rotations and multi-qubit gates mediated by the Coulomb interaction between ions. Moving ions through a multi-zone trap architecture allows for keeping the number of ions per zone small, while sympathetic cooling with a second ion species can remove energy and entropy from the system.
After an introduction to these elements, I will discuss the current status of experiments and some future perspectives for QIP and QS as well as for other applications based on trapped ions.
This work has been supported by IARPA, DARPA, NSA, ONR, and the NIST Quantum Information Program.