Technology

Lighting up the ion trap

Technology

Lighting up the ion trap

Walk into a quantum lab where scientists trap ions, and you'll find benchtops full of mirrors and lenses, all focusing lasers to hit an ion “trapped” in place above a chip. By using lasers to control ions, scientists have learned to harness ions as quantum bits, or qubits, the basic unit of data in a quantum computer. But this laser setup is holding research back — making it difficult to experiment with more than a few ions and to take these systems out of the lab for real use.

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