Physicists Teleport Logic Operation between Separated Ions for the First Time

Physicists have been able to teleport quantum logic operations between separated ions for the first time ever.
John Loeffler

For the first time, scientists have been able to 'teleport' a quantum logic operation between two isolated ions, opening up a new way for quantum computers to perform tasks over a large-scale quantum network.

Quantum Logic Operation Teleported Between Separated Ions for the First Time

For the first time, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have teleported a quantum logic operation between two isolated ions, demonstrating how quantum computers could carry out operations over a large-scale quantum network in the future.


This isn't the first time that quantum information has been teleported between two isolated quantum systems, but it is the first time that quantum logic operations have been transmitted in a similar manner.

Published in the May 31 issue of the journal Science, the work by NIST scientists opens up a potential new means of carrying out the various tasks in a quantum computer over a larger network of qubits then is currently the case.

"We verified that our logic operation works on all input states of two quantum bits with 85 to 87% probability -- far from perfect, but it is a start," said NIST physicist Dietrich Leibfried.

The NIST team teleported a quantum controlled-NOT logic operation (CNOT), which flips the state of a qubit from 0 to 1, or vice versa, if and only if another qubit is a 1, between two beryllium ions qubits located in different zones of an ion trap, about 340 micrometers apart. This rules out there being any direct interference between the two ions.

The NIST research relied on an entangled "messenger" pair of magnesium ions to transfer information between the beryllium ions. The teleported CNOT operation managed to entangle the two magnesium ions 95% of the time, while the entire logic operation was successful 85% to 87% of the time.

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"Gate teleportation allows us to perform a quantum logic gate between two ions that are spatially separated and may have never interacted before," said Leibfried. "The trick is that they each have one ion of another entangled pair by their side, and this entanglement resource, distributed ahead of the gate, allows us to do a quantum trick that has no classical counterpart."

"The entangled messenger pairs could be produced in a dedicated part of the computer and shipped separately to qubits that need to be connected with a logic gate but are in remote locations," Leibfried added.

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