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September 30, 2013

Theoretical Physicist Talks Quantum Computing Future

Nicole Hemsoth

Theoretical physicist Dr. John Preskill, who is one of the leading researchers in the areas of quantum information, quantum computing and quantum error correction, presented some of his ideas in a recent Google Tech Talk.

The purpose of the presentation was to offer a higher-level overview of where the fields of quantum physics and information technology intersect and what these merging areas might mean for future technologies. 

Preskill is the founder of the Institute for Quantum Information (IQI), which was conceived in 2000 as part of the initiative in Information Technology Research as led by the NSF. Recently the IQI became a part of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM) at Caltech, which is among the NSF’s Physics Frontiers Centers and supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

IQIM’s stated aims are “to discover new physics in the quantum realm and to build scientific foundations for designing materials and devices with remarkable properties.” Researchers in these fields are dedicated to exploring large-scale quantum phenomena that are possible when particles such as atoms, photons and electrons are strongly correlated or entangled.  IQIM scientists investigate and manipulate entangled systems and materials in order to advance basic science and build the foundations for future technologies including quantum computers.

As IQIM’s describes, their work is comprised of research programs that span quantum information science, quantum many-body physics, quantum optics, and the quantum mechanics of mechanical systems. The program’s faculty are drawn from Caltech’s departments of physics, applied physics, and computer science. IQIM also conducts outreach programs to acquaint high school students and the general public with quantum theory.