The first transistor was designed at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey in 1947 by William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain. Courtesy photo
SFI Community Event: “Quantum Computers” with Christopher Monroe, at 7:30 p.m., today, Oct. 16 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center 211 W. San Francisco St., in Santa Fe.
Quantum computers exploit the bizarre features of quantum mechanics to perform tasks that are impossible using conventional means. Sending instantaneous messages across long distances or quickly computing over ungodly amounts of data are just two possibilities that arise if we can design computers to exploit quantum uncertainty, entanglement, and measurement.
In this SFI Community Lecture, scientist Christopher Monroe describes the architecture of a quantum computer based on individual atoms, suspended and isolated with electric fields, and individually addressed with laser beams. This leading physical representation of a quantum computer has allowed demonstrations of small algorithms and emulations of hard quantum problems with more than 50 quantum bits. While this system can solve some esoteric tasks that cannot be accomplished in conventional devices, it remains a great challenge to build a quantum computer big enough to be useful for society. But the good news is that we don’t see any fundamental limits to scaling atomic quantum computers, and Monroe speculates as to how this might happen.
Christopher Monroe is a leading atomic physicist and quantum information scientist. He demonstrated the first quantum gate realized in any system at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the 1990s, and at University of Michigan and University of Maryland he discovered new ways to scale trapped ion qubits and simplify their control with semiconductor chip traps, simplified lasers, and photonic interfaces for long-distance entanglement.
He received the American Physical Society I.I. Rabi Prize and the Arthur Schawlow Laser Science Prize, and has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences. He is Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at IonQ in College Park, MD.