Event Type:

Department Colloquium

Date/Time:

Monday, January 30, 2012 - 08:00

Location:

Weniger 153

Guest Speaker:

Robin Blume-Kohout

Institution:

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Abstract:

Information is physical -- it is stored and processed in

physical systems. So, the laws of information processing -- e.g.,

what is possible -- are derived from the physics of the underlying

bits. Bits that obey quantum physics (a.k.a. "qubits") enable a whole

new set of protocols and algorithms, collectively known as quantum

information science. After ~30 years of effort, we have: (1) a

variety of applications for quantum computers; and (2) several

promising experimental technologies for building quantum computers.

Unfortunately, most of the applications require thousands of qubitsâ€¦

and quantum devices of this size are probably 10-20 years away.

Fortunately, there ARE interesting and useful applications for quantum

information processors comprising 100, 10, or even just 2 qubits!

Such devices aren't useful for computation -- they can be simulated

effectively on classical computers -- but they can process existing

quantum information with remarkable efficiency. I'll present two such

examples. First, quantum devices as small as 1 qubit can be used to

enhance the detection of small forces, by discriminating with optimal

accuracy between distinct quantum states. Second, somewhat larger

quantum devices can be used to compress quantum data, and to

concentrate quantum entanglement -- which can then be used as a

resource to enable large-scale quantum computing.