Time and Frequency Division, NIST, Boulder, CO

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.