© R. Blatt at Institut f. Experimentalphysik, Universtaet Innsbruck, Austria.
The observation of a single ion, held by an electrodynamic trap and fluorescing under laser light, marked the beginning of a new era in experimental quantum physics. Such an ion is at the heart of a new generation of atomic clocks. Here, we see a chain of ions in a linear trap. The chain can vibrate as a whole, and individual ions can be interrogated by laser light. This technology has helped to stimulate wide interest in quantum computing and quantum information science. (Unit: 5)