Happy World Quantum Day! We are a group of quantum science researchers at the University of Maryland. Ask us anything!
Happy World Quantum Day! We are a group of quantum science researchers at the University of Maryland. Ask us anything! World Quantum Day aims to promote the public understanding of quantum science and technology, and the University of Maryland (UMD) is home to hundreds of faculty, postdoctoral researchers and students working on quantum research across numerous topics, including:
• Quantum information and computing (building a quantum computer, but also learning more about its underlying physics)
• Quantum algorithms (both for hypothetical future quantum computers and for the small devices that exist today)
• Quantum networking (transferring and sharing of quantum information across distances)
• Quantum simulation (using a quantum system to simulate a different quantum system)
• Quantum many-body physics (the collective behavior of lots of quantum particles)
• Quantum sensors (going beyond MRIs and CAT scans)
• Quantum materials (such as unconventional superconductors, graphene, and more)
• and much more! See the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), the Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC), the ), Quantum Materials Center (QMC), the Quantum Technology Center (QTC) and the NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation (RQS) for more information about all the quantum research happening at UMD.
To celebrate World Quantum Day, JQI has brought together three physicists to answer your questions about all things quantum, from the basics of wavefunctions and entanglement to cutting edge research and technology. (If you want a quick refresher before asking a question, check out the Quantum Atlas, an approachable guide to quantum physics for non-experts.) There are no stupid questions (and hopefully no stupid answers). The researchers participating in this AMA are:
Steve Rolston (JQI, QTC, RQS): Rolston’s research has focused on ultracold atoms—neutral atoms cooled to just above absolute zero. At these frigid temperatures, the atoms’ behavior is ruled by quantum mechanics. Rolston and his collaborators have studied how these atoms act in the presence of strong disorder, used them to create an ultracold plasma, used them to create a quantum light source, coupled them to ions using light in an effort to build a quantum network, and more. Rolston received his PhD from SUNY Stony Brook in 1986, and has been a professor at UMD since 2003, a JQI Fellow since its founding in 2006, and Chair of the UMD Department of Physics since 2016.
Alicia Kollár (JQI, QTC, RQS): Kollár’s research focuses on circuit quantum electrodynamics (circuit QED), a way of studying the quantum mechanical interactions between light and matter on a convenient chip. Kollár’s lab uses coplanar waveguides to trap light on a chip and organizes them into novel patterns. These patterns allow the chips to host states known as ‘flat bands’ where energy does not change with velocity, or support hyperbolic lattices where photons act as though they are not in normal Euclidian space but on a MC Escher style curved ‘hyperbolic’ surface. Kollár received her PhD from Stanford University in 2016 and has been an assistant professor at UMD and a JQI fellow since 2019.
Norbert Linke (JQI, QTC, RQS): Linke’s research focuses on trapping and manipulating individual ions. Linke’s team has an ion-based universal quantum computer that they are using it to implement quantum algorithms and optimize its performance with machine learning tools. They also use ions to perform analog simulations of complex quantum phenomena and are working on developing quantum networking tools. Linke received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2012 and has been an assistant professor at UMD and a JQI fellow since 2019.
We’ll be answering questions from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST. And time permitting, we may answer more questions throughout the day.
Proof: Here's my proof!
Edit 12:10 P.M.: Thanks for all the great questions! We will be checking in throughout the day (and maybe beyond!) and answering more.