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Toward the next quantum revolution: controlling physical systems and taming decoherence

Edwin Barnes


Recent years have witnessed enormous progress toward harnessing the power of quantum mechanics and integrating it into novel technologies capable of performing tasks far beyond present-day capabilities. Future technologies such as quantum computing, sensing and communication demand the ability to control microscopic quantum systems with unprecedented accuracy. This task is particularly daunting due to unwanted and unavoidable interactions with noisy environments that destroy quantum information in a process known as decoherence. I will present recent progress in understanding and modeling the effects of multiple noise sources on the evolution of a quantum bit and show how this can be used to develop new ways to slow down decoherence. I will then describe a new general theory for dynamically combatting decoherence by driving quantum bits in such a way that noise effects destructively interfere and cancel out, enabling the high level of control needed to realize quantum information technologies.

Short bio:

Prof. Barnes has been a member of the Physics faculty at Virginia Tech since 2015. Prior to that, he held a postdoctoral position at the University of Virginia and a senior research associate position in both the Joint Quantum Institute and the Condensed Matter Theory Center at the University of Maryland. He earned a doctoral degree in Physics from the University of California, San Diego in 2006.

Edwin Barnes Headshot
Edwin Barnes
Virginia Tech
EEB 105
26 Feb 2019, 10:30am until 11:30am