HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Ken Cooper

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Artificial Atoms on a Chip: The Road to Quantum Computation?

Nov. 21, 2006

A quantum computer, if ever constructed, will be able to crack problems that would take a modern computer longer than the age of the universe to solve. While classical computers store information as bits - 1’s and 0’s - quantum computers rely on "qubits," which are quantum two-state systems capable of existing as a 1 and 0 simultaneously. One promising qubit technology is based on superconducting microchips. At temperatures near absolute zero, these devices possess discrete quantum energy levels much like atoms, but with radiative transitions at microwave rather than optical frequencies. I will discuss my research on superconducting qubits, focusing on how qubits interact with each other and with their noisy environment. These discoveries might someday help make quantum computers a reality.