Two-Dimensional Arrays, Atomic-clocks, Quantum Simulation, Quantum Computing: All from Cooling and Trapping Atoms. A report presented by nature.com consolidates results from several studies focusing on “the cooling and trapping of single strontium and ytterbium atoms in two-dimensional arrays.” The quantum computing nexus is that these arrays show promise in advancing the precision of optical atomic-clocks and improvements in quantum bit (qubit) encoding useful to quantum simulation and computing. From The Qubit Report angle, the key takeaway from their reporting is the connection of strontium and ytterbium atoms to their use as quantum bits i.e. for quantum information processing purposes.
Excerpt: The second implication for clock development is intimately connected to the potential use of strontium and ytterbium atoms as quantum bits (qubits) in quantum-information processing. There are several options for qubit encoding, because these atoms have both fermionic and bosonic isotopes — isotopes whose total numbers of protons and neutrons are odd and even, respectively. For the fermionic isotopes, qubits can be encoded in energy levels known as Zeeman substates. This encoding could involve a single qubit as in ytterbium-171, which has two substates, or many qubits as in strontium-87, which has ten substates. For the bosonic isotopes, qubits can instead be encoded in the energy levels that form the basis of the optical atomic clock.
“Atomic energy-level structures. a, Atoms that contain one outer (valence) electron have a rather simple structure of electronic energy levels. Transitions of electrons between certain levels can be used to rapidly cool the atoms, whereas transitions between two levels, called hyperfine ground states, can be used to build a microwave-frequency atomic clock. b, Atoms that contain two valence electrons, such as strontium and ytterbium, have two separate energy-level spectra: a singlet spectrum and a triplet spectrum. These atoms have transitions that can be used for rapid cooling, as in one-valence-electron atoms. But they also have transitions that can be used in optical atomic clocks and to reach extremely low temperatures. Three papers now report the cooling and confinement of individual strontium and ytterbium atoms.” (Image and Caption Credit: nature)
The advancements in science and research pertaining to quantum computing, and here, quantum bits, is moving the field rapidly toward stable, long-lived, and controllable qubits. Keeping tabs on the advancements is what we are trying to provide from The Qubit Report. Because Quantum is Coming. Qubit.