A technique for remotely entangling ions of strontium much more accurately and at far higher rates than previously possible has been unveiled by physicists in the UKThe team says that their scheme paves the way to scalable quantum computers made from multiple ion traps that are linked to one another via photonic interconnects. 

Quantum computers promise to greatly outperform even the most powerful conventional computers on certain tasks. While some progress has been made, many challenges remain – including how to achieve the quantum entanglement of large numbers of quantum bit (qubits).  

Trapped ions offer a way of generating qubits with very low levels of noise, and therefore maintain the quantum coherence that is required to perform calculations. Indeed, the quantum states of ions havbeen made to persist for over 10::min. Each ion is held in a vacuum using electric fields and is suspended over a micro-fabricated chip. Manipulated by laser beams, the ions can then be placed in a superposition and entangled with their neighbours.

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