HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Katharina Gillen

Cal Poly Pomona

Quantum Computing With a 2D Array of Movable Atom Traps Formed by Pinholes

April 14, 2015

Quantum computers have the potential to perform certain tasks much faster than even the most powerful supercomputers through the use of superposition and entanglement, two of the unusual features of quantum mechanics. Despite the fact that many different systems are being explored as candidates, no fully functioning quantum computer has been built yet. One approach is quantum computing using (neutral) atoms as quantum bits (qubits). While most of the necessary criteria for a working quantum computer have been achieved with neutral atoms, one obstacle remains: how to create a large system of atoms that can be individually addressed with laser beams to perform quantum gates on them.

In this talk, I will summarize the current state of the art of neutral atom quantum computing and discuss a possible solution to the scalability and addressability problem. We have shown computationally that atoms can be trapped in the bright or dark spots of the diffraction pattern immediately behind a pinhole. These traps can be moved by tilting the laser beam incident on the pinhole. By exploiting the light polarization dependence of these traps, two atoms can be brought together and apart to facilitate two qubit gates. Scaling up to a large two-dimensional array of pinholes will then allow arranging atomic qubits in a large, addressable array for quantum computing. We will present our computational results and our experimental progress towards realizing this system in our research lab.