This maze of electrodes, known as a surface-electrode ion trap, brings us closer to building quantum computers—that is, computers that could manipulate the quantum-mechanical states of atoms to process data millions of times as fast as today's most powerful supercomputers do.
Whereas computers now use transistors to crunch 0s and 1s, a quantum computer could theoretically perform dozens of calculations simultaneously by zapping charged subatomic particles, called ions, with a laser.
One of the first steps in building a functional quantum computer is trapping the ions in order to zap them. That's why physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have created this ion trap, a web of electrodes that produces an electric field to hold the ions in place. Once in place, the ions hover just above the trap's surface. Project physicist Jason Amini says there's still much work to do. For example, he and his group would like to build a trap that can hold hundreds of ions instead of the two or three it currently manages. If they can pull it off, the traps could outperform conventional computers on certain tasks within the next five years.
The image reminds me of Tron :)
Great work! One step closer to the next gen in computing and no longer will people need to ask if it can play Crysis.
it's a great theory that quantum computers could be many fold faster then computers today, but i have a feeling there will be always other bottlenecks preventing us from ever being able to even come close to the theoretical speeds, nonetheless is should bee a huge improvement and am excited to see what happens even though quantum physics still make no sense to me.
Something tells me this won't be inside Nintendo's followup to the Wii.
I'm pretty sure most people reading popsci know what an 'ion' is.
Moravian College, Class of 2012
Intended B.A. in Physics, B.S. in Math
If this kinda of computer ever exist, we actualy probly wont need a computer or nintendo in our home, most likely we are going to have streamed computer right in our home from server located far away servicing thousands if not millions of people. Its Called Internet 3.0.
Not to mention that definition of an ion is incorrect.
An ion is not "subatomic," it is a charged atom.
yes, I'm pretty sure they meant sub-molecular particle even though that is not how we speak, though it is missing an electron, I have never heard an ion called subatomic
pair it up with Wifi based on quantum entanglement..
the entire universe is your hotspot.