20130710


   

The next frontier of quantum communications

Listening to Rupert Ursin's closing talk on Free-Space Quantum Communication towards Satellites. Over the last week, we shared the sunset from the summit of Mauna Kea, tracked binary star clusters and shining nebulae from telescopes atop the mountain, joined a round of native Hawaiian chants to give thanks to the land, the jungle and our ancestors in a hand-built, solar-powered treehouse deep in the rainforest, snorkeled through the same crystalline waters as the sea turtles and dolphins in Waikoloa Bay, enjoyed fresh coconut water and enchanted conversations on quantum mechanics and the nature of reality as whirling dervishes, beautiful dancers flitted around us at the naked drum circle of Kehena's black sand beach, and took in arms-length views of active cliffside lava flows and giant, billowing sulfuric gas clouds, violently heaving and shaking the ground beneath our feet, erupting into massive steam columns as they crashed into the ocean, slicing through the thin ribbon of coastline interface between land and sea, dead in the middle of the night, miles from civilization. 

The Next Frontier of Quantum Communications — with Richard Hughes, Tim Ralph, Wolfgang Tittel, Jaewan Kim and Masahide Sasaki at the IEEE Quantum Photonics and Communications Meeting, Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii





20130402


Alan Aspuru-Guzik granted tenure at Harvard University 
"Breaking news: I just found out I got tenure 10 minutes ago. Thanks to all my friends for their support!"
Alan Aspuru-Guzik
Quantum physicist Andrew White among new Australian Academy of Science Fellows University of Queensland  "Professor White  has built an international reputation through his work in quantum physics. His characterization of a quantum logic gate, the fundamental building block of a quantum computer, has set the standard in the field. His research has been published extensively in numerous high-profile journals such as Nature Communications, Science, Physical Review Letters, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and New Journal of Physics."

20130322

Anton Zeilinger elected to lead as new President of the Austrian National Academy of Sciences
Kurier.at Anton Zeilinger has been elected to lead as the new President for the Austrian National Academy of Sciences. He will begin serving in the position on July 1st of this year. 


Anton Zeilinger’s achievements have been most succinctly described in his citation for the Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics (UK), "For his pioneering conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, which have become the cornerstone for the rapidly-evolving field of quantum information. Anton is a pioneer in the field of quantum information and the foundations of quantum mechanics. He and his colleagues have demonstrated many world's-first achievements in the field, including quantum teleportation, entanglement swapping, dense coding, entanglement-based quantum cryptography, one-way quantum computation, multipartite quantum entanglement, and blind quantum computation. In addition, he has made many important contributions to the conceptual and experimental foundations of quantum mechanics, particularly in the areas of quantum entanglement and macroscopic quantum mechanics."

In the summer of 2010, I lived and worked with the research group in Austria after being elected to receive two concurrent Austrian National Research Fellowships for my research proposals on "Quantum Mechanics in Higher Dimensional Hilbert Spaces," and "What is Real in the Quantum World?" at the Austrian International Akademie, Traunkirchen, with Anton Zeilinger, Marcus AspelmeyerCaslav Brukner, Rupert Ursin, William Wootters, Christopher Fuchs, Daniel Greenberger and Michael Horne.

Photos of the picturesque setting, and of the idyllic, crystalline lake in Traunkirchen, are available online here on Flickr.com.




Anton Zeilinger Selected to Serve as New Academy President

For some, he is the Austrian superstar of science. For others, because of his frequent public presence, he can be seen as a self-promoter. This much is not in dispute: The experimental physicist Anton Zeilinger (67) is one of those rare domestic scientists whose work has drawn the attention of the elite of the international scientific community. He sees science as few others do, through vivid and intricate experimental work—yet he taps into understandable language and easily reaches a lay audience. Now he will move to the top of the venerable Academy of Sciences (AAS) to convey his ideas as its chief.

"Mr. Beam," the "Quantum Pope," the "Pop Star of Science," "the Warlock from Vienna," as Zeilinger is sometimes called, with his graying beard and curly locks as a perfection of the stereotype of a scientist, enjoys widespread popularity despite sometimes facing criticisms. "The main reason he can convey such youthful enthusiasm is because he is an enthusiast himself."

Publicity never seems a motive for Zeilinger's work, recipient of the Club of Education and Science Journalists Award in 1996 for "Scientist of the Year". His motive is his enthusiasm for his subject. And so, as the award-winning physicist taught quantum physics to the Dalai Lama, discussed the meaning of life with Nobel laureates, and has always been set for even higher (Nobel Prize) ordinations. All this has been accomplished in a relatively short time—just looking back 15 years, when the physicist in 1997, with his teleportation experiments, made the breakthrough in the headlines through "beamed" quantum teleportation.

Research Timeline

Anton Zeilinger was born in May 20, 1945 in Ried, Upper Austria. He studied physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, yet with "not a single hour attended to a lecture on quantum physics." He had to acquire his knowledge from books, as he writes in his book "Einstein's Veil" (2003). His PhD was awarded at the Atomic Institute of Helmut Rauch, with the "father of quantum optics in Austria," where he worked after graduation (1971) as an assistant. This period also saw his first research visits abroad, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late Nobel laureate Clifford G. Shull's lab (1994).

Anton made several other trips abroad before he returned to his homeland in 1990 as professor of the University of Innsbruck. In 1998 he moved to Vienna University, and since then there, to the Institute for Experimental Physics. In 2003 he also founded, together with the University of Innsbruck physicists groups led by Rainer Blatt, Rudolf Grimm and Hans Briegel, the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI), of which he also serves as the scientific director. Zeilinger also leads as physics Dean for the University of Vienna.

Zeilinger appears as a gifted experimenter, succeeding in sophisticated attempts to uncover altogether new relationships in Nature, and to confirm or disprove current theories, where he also repeatedly ventures back to the basics and the foundational principles of quantum physics. He works, and leads, in one of the most exciting and fastest growing areas of physics today: quantum technology. 

20120523


Tunable photon-ion entanglement enables quantum networks Nature | Innsbruck In Nature 485 and concurrent KurzweilAI press coverage, Rainer BlattTracy Northup, and Andreas Stute have constructed an interface for quantum networks that is both efficient and freely tunable—the first interface between a single ion and a single photon. "Whenever we have to transfer quantum information from processing sites to communication channels, and vice versa, we’re going to need an interface between light and matter," explains Northup. "This technique has two significant advantages over previous approaches that have entangled atoms with light: the efficiency with which we produce entangled photons is quite high and in principle could be increased to over 99 percent. But above all, this setup allows us to generate any possible entangled state.”




20120118








Inaugural NASA Quantum Future Technologies Conference NASA Ames Research Center NASA scientists join the best quantum technology experts from academia, government and industry to identify new and exciting opportunities in space exploration, aeronautics, earth and space science where quantum technologies can have the greatest impact. Conference topics include next-generation quantum experiments for measurements of time and distance, navigation, field sensing, and gravity wave detection; scalable quantum computing architectures and algorithms; quantum key distribution for practical secure transmission over long distances, including fiber channels, earth-satellite links, and space-based communications networks.

Conference Website | Live Videoconference Stream

* February 3, 2012 | Videos and presentations are now online at the conference website.

20110912

Quantum to Classical Crossover in Mechanical Systems Leiden 
Lorentz Center Workshop on the Quantum to Classical Crossover in Mechanical Systems 
In recent years there have been rapid developments in controlling micro- and nanometer-sized mechanical systems—to the point where quantum physics has become essential for understanding the dynamics of these systems. Quantized oscillations of mechanical resonators are now being discussed, and these have potential applications in the field of quantum information science.

New, fundamental tests of quantum mechanics—such as superpositions of states and entanglement between systems—are now within reach for macroscopic objects. These experimental possibilities provide new input to the discussion of how the classical world emerges from underlying quantum physics. A related question, whether quantum physics is needed to understand properties beyond those of the chemical reactions and molecular compositions of biological systems, will also be addressed. This Lorentz Center Workshop will bring together leading experimentalists and theorists in this field of research.

Workshop participants include Dirk Bouwmeester, Yaroslav Blanter, Herre van der Zant, Eva WeigMarkus Aspelmeyer, Hans Briegel, Andrew Cleland, Rosario Fazio, Philip StampWojciech Zurek, and many more.

20110711


I've recently been selected to train as a scientist-astronaut candidate for commercial suborbital and developing orbital flights with a newly-formed, nonprofit endeavor that counts NASA/ESA astronauts, astronaut trainers and instructors among its astronaut corps and its board of advisors. I'm honored to be selected for the program, and tremendously excited about the opportunity. This is just the start of a long and challenging journey!


The nascent field of commercial spaceflight—and the unique conditions afforded by space and microgravity environments—offer exciting new opportunities to conduct novel experiments in quantum entanglement, fundamental tests of spacetime, and large-scale quantum coherence. In pursuit of these goals, we have the opportunity to inspire our next generation of scientists, researchers and engineers.








Quantum Experiments in Space and Microgravity



20110623

Extending coherence times in superconducting qubits Schoelkopf Lab | via Leo DiCarlo — In arXiv 1105.4652Schoelkopf et al  report novel implementation of a superconducting transmon qubit strongly coupled to a 5-cm, three-dimensional superconducting cavity, attaining reproducible extension in coherence times of both qubit (T1 and T2 > 10 μs) and cavity (Tcav ∼ 50 μs) by more than an order of magnitude compared to the current state-of-the-art superconducting qubits. "This enables the study of the stability and quality of Josephson junctions at precisions exceeding one part per million. Surprisingly, we see no evidence for 1/ f critical current noise. At elevated temperatures, we observe dissipation due to a small density (< 1 − 10 ppm) of thermally excited quasiparticles. These results suggest that the overall quality of Josephson junctions will allow for error rates of 10−4, approaching the error correction threshold to meet the DiVincenzo criteria for universal quantum computation. 





Time domain measurement of qubit coherence (a) Relaxation from |1⟩ of qubit J1. T1 is 60 μs for this measurement. (b) Ramsey fringes measured on resonance with (blue squares) and without (red squares) echo sequence. The pulse width for the π and π/2 pulses used in the experiments is 20 ns. An additional phase is added to the rotation axis of the second π/2 pulse for each delay to give the oscillatory feature to the Ramsey fringes.

20110612

The Quantum Computer is Growing Up: Robust error correction in a quantum processor Rainer Blatt | Innsbruck | Science | KurzweilAI 

A more efficient algorithm for error correction in quantum computers has been demonstrated experimentally by physicists at the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IQOQI).

The physicists demonstrated the mechanism by storing three calcium ions in an ion trap. All three particles were used as qubits: one ion represented the system qubit while the other two ions represented auxiliary qubits. The system qubit was then entangled with the auxiliary qubits to transfer the quantum information to all three particles.

The physicists applied a quantum algorithm to determine whether an error occurred and, if there was an error, correct it. After making the correction, the auxiliary qubits were reset using a laser beam to enable repetitive error correction.

“For a quantum computer to become reality, we need a quantum processor with many quantum bits. Moreover, we need quantum operations that work nearly error-free; the third crucial element is an efficient error correction.”- Philipp Schindler



A team of physicists at the University of Innsbruck, led by Philipp Schindler and Rainer Blatt, has demonstrated a crucial element for quantum computers: repetitive error correction. This allows scientists to correct errors occurring in a quantum computer efficiently. The researchers recently published these findings in Science.

20110310






I've recently been selected to train as a scientist-astronaut candidate for commercial suborbital and developing orbital flights with a newly-formed, nonprofit endeavor that counts NASA/ESA astronauts, astronaut trainers and instructors among its astronaut corps and its board of advisors. I'm honored to be selected for the program, and tremendously excited about the opportunity. This is just the start of a long and challenging journey!
The nascent field of commercial spaceflight—and the unique conditions afforded by space and microgravity environments—offer exciting new opportunities to conduct novel experiments in quantum entanglement, fundamental tests of spacetime, and large-scale quantum coherence. In pursuit of these goals, we have the opportunity to inspire our next generation of scientists, researchers and engineers.
Quantum Experiments in Space and Microgravity

20110117

Quantum Entanglement Allows "Teleportation in TimeMIT Technology Review "Conventional entanglement links particles across space. Now physicists say a similar effect links particles through time. Entanglement is so deeply enmeshed in the universe that a measurement in the past has an automatic, time-symmetric, influence on the future—and vice versa." –MIT Technology Review

20101217

ScienceTop Breakthrough of the Year Science, UCSB Science Magazine has compiled the top breakthroughs of the year, awarding the most significant scientific advance of 2010 to Andrew Cleland and John Martinis (UCSB). "This year’s Breakthrough of the Year represents the first time that scientists have demonstrated quantum effects in the motion of a human-made object," said Adrian Cho, a news writer for Science. "On a conceptual level it extends quantum mechanics into a whole new realm. On a practical level, it opens up a variety of possibilities ranging from new experiments that meld quantum control over light, electrical currents and motion to—perhaps someday—tests of the bounds of quantum mechanics and our sense of reality. This last grand goal might be achieved by trying to put a macroscopic object in a state in which it’s literally in two slightly different places at the same time."

20101122

TEDxCaltech | Feynman's Vision: The Next 50 Years Caltech In recognition of the 50 year anniversaries of Richard Feynman's visionary talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" and the inauguration of his revolutionary "Feynman Lectures on Physics," the Institute will host TEDxCaltech on January 14, 2011. TEDxCaltech will be a dynamic celebration of Feynman's spirit, curiosity, and scientific vision, and will take ideas worth sharing from Caltech out into the world by celebrating Nobel Laureate, visionary, and “curious character” Richard Feynman, with the theme “Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years.” Speakers include Scott Aaronson, Immanuel Bloch, Sean Carroll, John Preskill, Lenny SusskindDavid Awschalom, Kip Thorne, Charlie Marcus, Don Eigler, Michael Roukes, Craig Venter, and many more.