Time and Frequency Division, NIST, Boulder, CO
Quantum games with trapped atomic ions; whither quantum computation?
Among a number of possible physical implementations of quantum information
processing, trapped ions are attractive because the basic elements of
quantum computation have been experimentally demonstrated. A skeptic can
perhaps justifiably classify these accomplishments as parlor tricks;
nevertheless, the trapped-ion system also has a straightforward path to
scaling to large qubit numbers. Some of the technical hurdles to achieving
this scaling, including seemingly mundane things like understanding metal
(electrode) surfaces at a mesoscopic scale, will be discussed. In the
meantime, some simple implementations of quantum computation could have
important applications before large-scale quantum computation is practical,
for example, for efficient quantum-limited measurements.