Australian Institute of Physics
South Australian Branch
FREE PUBLIC LECTURE
at 7:30 pm, Tuesday December 9th 1997
in the FLENTJE Lecture Theatre
Plaza Building, The University of Adelaide
(go down the steps at the NorthEast corner of Hughes Plaza,
or enter from the Horace Lamb building)
"Trapped Ions, Schroedinger's Cat, and Quantum Computation"
by Dr David Wineland
NIST, Boulder
With the current interest in quantum computation, several
ideas for practical implementation of quantum logic operations are
being investigated. One possible scheme uses trapped atomic ions as
"qubits". Qubits can be "wired" to make logic gates; this can be
accomplished by coupling the ions' internal states through their
(shared) motional degrees of freedom. A fundamental quantum logic
gate has been realized along these lines at NIST. Scaling of this
system to a size useful for computation will need to overcome the
effects of decoherence; this issue is closely related to the
survival of "Schroedinger's cat", a bizarre situation which follows
from the rules of quantum mechanics where a cat can be
simultaneously both dead and alive.
BIOGRAPHY:
David Wineland studied at University of California, Davis and
Berkeley, before gaining his M.A. and PhD from Harvard University
under Norman Ramsey in 1970. He has worked at the University of
Washington and the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(formerly National Bureau of Standards) in Boulder, Colorado. He is
presently Project leader for the Ion Storage Group at NIST, and has
been an NIST Fellow and affiliate faculty member at Colorado State
University. He has been distinguished with numerous awards,
including the 1990 Davisson-Germer Prize (APS), 1990 William F.
Meggers Award (OSA) and most recently, the 1996 Einstein medal for
laser science from the Society of Optical & Quantum Electronics.
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