||This colorized image shows the fluorescence from three trapped beryllium ions illuminated with an ultraviolet laser beam. Black and blue areas indicate lower intensity, and red and white higher intensity.
NIST physicists used three beryllium ions to demonstrate a crucial step in a procedure that could enable future quantum computers to break today's most commonly used encryption codes.
*PHY, quantum computer, Fourier transform, encryption, code breaking, qubit, quantum information, Shor's algorithm, superposition
See also http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/fourier.cfm.