Nav: Home

UNM Center for Quantum Information and Control receives multi-million-dollar award

November 02, 2016

Quantum information science is going to change the world. Being able to manipulate and control individual atoms and other microscopic systems to do jobs in communications, sensing and computation will have an impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. And, for the University of New Mexico's Center for Quantum Information & Control (CQuIC), a new multi-million-dollar grant will allow UNM to continue at the forefront of this innovative field.

"Our particular emphasis is on control of the behavior of quantum systems," said Carlton Caves, Distinguished Professor of Physics & Astronomy and the Center's director. "Broadly speaking, we are involved in trying to make systems at the microscopic and nanoscopic level do jobs that we want them to do, instead of just doing what comes naturally."

The $2.2 million, five-year award from the National Science Foundation makes CQuIC a Focused Research Hub in Theoretical Physics, one of only two in the United States. It's not only an exciting designation, but it will allow UNM researchers the opportunity to delve more deeply into quantum science and to make new progress toward the goal of quantum computing.

"The competition for the FRHTP was stiff," said Ivan Deutsch, a CQuIC faculty member and Regents' Professor of Physics & Astronomy. "We are the sole recipients in quantum information. This award lays a foundation for the future of our center."

To understand what quantum information and computing entails, one must first have an understanding of how current computers operate. Essentially, computers, and the transistors that power them, run on a binary system of ones and zeros - on and off. This binary system follows the traditional laws of logic and classical physics when processing information.

As computers continue to get smaller and smarter, the technology begins to reach its natural limit. Computer chips are now engineered on a nanoscale and are becoming so small they look like individual atoms. And, while those atoms are capable of incredible computing power, their behavior follows a peculiarly quantum version of logic that requires a new language to describe, the language of quantum physics.

"This quantum world is governed by entirely different laws of physics, which lead to counterintuitive effects. It is a world of quantum logic, where true and false can exist simultaneously in a 'superposition state' and where particles are entangled and linked inextricably together," explained Deutsch. "We have come to understand that this 'Alice in Wonderland' quantum world opens the door to new possibilities for information processing power, where computers could break existing secret codes and new quantum secret codes could be developed that are fundamentally unbreakable. New drugs could even be designed on a quantum computer."

CQuIC, which was formed in 2009, is based at UNM with an extension at the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. Researchers at the two institutions, along with partners at Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs, work together on both the theoretical aspects of quantum information and with the experimental part of the puzzle. Caves says this cooperation, combined with the new NSF grant, sets CQuIC apart from its competitors and will allow CQuIC's faculty and students to continue to make serious progress in the field - and, one day, change the world.
-end-


University of New Mexico

Related Quantum Information Articles:

The multi-colored photons that might change quantum information science
With leading corporations now investing in highly expensive and complex infrastructures to unleash the power of quantum technologies, INRS researchers have achieved a breakthrough in a light-weight photonic system created using on-chip devices and off-the-shelf telecommunications components.
Celebrating a high performing new journal in quantum information
UNSW Sydney is proud of the early publication performance, influence and reach of its Nature Partner Journal npj Quantum Information, from advancing discovery to affecting public discourse.
Quantum nanoscope
Researchers have studied how light can be used to 'see' the quantum nature of an electronic material.
Testing quantum field theory in a quantum simulator
Quantum field theories are often hard to verify in experiments.
Looking for the quantum frontier
Researchers have developed a new theoretical framework to identify computations that occupy the 'quantum frontier' -- the boundary at which problems become impossible for today's computers and can only be solved by a quantum computer.
Information avoidance
People deliberately avoid information that threatens their happiness and wellbeing.
More reliable way to produce single photons for quantum information imprinting
Physicists at the University of Bath have developed a technique to more reliably produce single photons that can be imprinted with quantum information.
New quantum states for better quantum memories
How can quantum information be stored as long as possible?
Tracking the flow of quantum information
A Yale-led group of researchers has derived a formula for understanding where quantum objects land when they are transmitted.
Breakthrough in the quantum transfer of information between matter and light
From stationary to flying qubits at speeds never reached before...This feat, achieved by a team from Polytechnique Montréal and France's Centre national de la recherche scientifique, brings us a little closer to the era when information is transmitted via quantum principles.

Related Quantum Information Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".