Implementation of the Semiclassical Quantum Fourier Transform in a Scalable System

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Science  13 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5724, pp. 997-1000
DOI: 10.1126/science.1110335

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We report the implementation of the semiclassical quantum Fourier transform in a system of three beryllium ion qubits (two-level quantum systems) confined in a segmented multizone trap. The quantum Fourier transform is the crucial final step in Shor's algorithm, and it acts on a register of qubits to determine the periodicity of the quantum state's amplitudes. Because only probability amplitudes are required for this task, a more efficient semiclassical version can be used, for which only single-qubit operations conditioned on measurement outcomes are required. We apply the transform to several input states of different periodicities; the results enable the location of peaks corresponding to the original periods. This demonstration incorporates the key elements of a scalable ion-trap architecture, suggesting the future capability of applying the quantum Fourier transform to a large number of qubits as required for a useful quantum factoring algorithm.

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