Los Alamos Event Horizon

In Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai‘i in July 2013, I was extremely fortunate to finally meet a longtime inspiration in my workRichard Hughes—Director of the Quantum Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

LANL is where the Manhattan Project gave birth to the first atomic bomb—a project so cloaked in secrecy President Truman didn't brief his Vice President of its existence.  

Hughes now serves as Chairman of the US Government Quantum Roadmap. He was gracious enough to extend me an invitation to visit. 

When I extended my hand to greet him at that quantum optics conference, I remarked what an honor it was to meet—how the pioneering vision of his roadmap had inspired me in the course of my graduate studies. 

He replied, "To the contrary, it’s an honor for me to meet you—you inspired me!" 

I asked him, "How could that be? I was just a graduate student at the time." 

He pointed to my collection of reports submitted to the Director of US Advanced Research and Development Activity, moving on to the Disruptive Technology Office. 

Those reports were written in the course of my QUIST Program research in East Asia, headquartered in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan—traveling to leading national labs, universities and corporate research institutes across Europe and East Asia. 

The end product of the reports were disseminated to US scientists, agency directors and researchers all around the country. 

Hughes told me they profoundly influenced him to create the US Government's official Roadmap.  

Why — 

No formal assessments or national roadmaps had been yet undertaken at such an early time in the field—so he simply followed my lead in crafting national assessments, taking them on the archetypal example in drafting the official US Roadmap

Hughes's account of my historical contributions led to his extension of an invitation for me to visit the lab.

I asked, "How long should I schedule for my visit? Two days, two weeks, two months...?"

He winked. "You know, Los Alamos is a black hole. With all the exciting projects we have going on here, you might disappear altogether, and never leave ...

— This is what I wrote upon my return.

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