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    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    New Ion Trap Opens the Door to Advanced Quantum Computing

    ByThemba Hadebe

    Nov 19, 2023
    New Ion Trap Opens the Door to Advanced Quantum Computing

    Sandia National Laboratories has made a major breakthrough in the field of quantum computing with the development of a groundbreaking ion trap called the Enchilada Trap. This innovative device has the potential to pave the way for bigger and more powerful quantum computers, offering new possibilities in the realm of experimental computing.

    Partnering with Duke University through the Quantum Systems Accelerator, a research collaboration supported by the DOE Office of Science, Sandia aims to harness the potential of the Enchilada Trap and advance the field of quantum computing.

    An ion trap, such as the Enchilada Trap, is essentially a microchip that is capable of holding electrically charged atoms, or ions. These ions, known as qubits, are the building blocks of quantum computing and allow for the execution of elaborate algorithms. The more qubits that can be trapped and controlled, the more complex and powerful the quantum computer becomes.

    The Enchilada Trap goes one step further, promising the capability to store and transport up to an impressive 200 qubits. This extraordinary feat is achieved through a network of five trapping zones inspired by the previous generation of ion traps, specifically the Roadrunner Trap.

    Sandia’s Microsystems Engineering, Science and Applications fabrication facility is responsible for the production of both the Enchilada Trap and its predecessor. This cutting-edge facility ensures that the ion traps meet world-class standards, setting the stage for significant advancements in the field.

    Through the development and use of the Enchilada Trap, Sandia National Laboratories, along with its research partner Duke University, will be at the forefront of the quantum computing revolution. This breakthrough brings us one step closer to a future where quantum computing becomes a routine part of our technological landscape.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What is an ion trap?

    An ion trap is a microchip device capable of holding electrically charged atoms, or ions. It is an essential component of a quantum computer, as it allows for the trapping and manipulation of qubits.

    What are qubits?

    Qubits are the fundamental units of information in quantum computing. Unlike classical bits, which can only represent either a 0 or a 1, qubits can exist in a superposition of both states simultaneously, allowing for complex computations to be carried out.

    How many qubits can the Enchilada Trap store?

    The Enchilada Trap has the potential to store and transport up to 200 qubits, making it a significant advancement in the field of quantum computing.

    What is the Quantum Systems Accelerator?

    The Quantum Systems Accelerator is a research collaboration between Sandia National Laboratories and Duke University. It is one of five U.S. National Quantum Information Science Research Centers funded by the DOE Office of Science. The collaboration aims to accelerate advances in the field of quantum computing.