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Posted: March 9, 2010
University of New Mexico establishes new Center for Quantum Information and Control
(Nanowerk News) The University of New Mexico College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona has established the Center for Quantum Information and Control. CQuIC is founded on a three-year, $1.26 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physics at the Information Frontiers program.
The NSF grant commenced on Aug. 1, 2009, and has as principal investigators Carlton Caves and Ivan Deutsch, both UNM professors in Physics and Astronomy Department and Poul Jessen at UA. Caves is director of the new center. CQuIC replaces a previous A&S center, the Center for Advanced Studies.
“CQuIC will specialize in the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for research careers in Quantum Information Science,” said Caves. “For the present, research at UNM will be predominantly on theoretical topics in QIS, and Jessen’s group at UA will provide a major experimental component. A primary objective is to expand the scope of the Center by involving researchers in other A&S departments and in the School of Engineering.”
QIS is an interdisciplinary field investigating how to use systems obeying the laws of quantum mechanics to perform information processing tasks that cannot be performed using the information-processing resources available today. The key to quantum information processing is to take advantage of so-called quantum coherence by developing physical systems that can maintain quantum coherence for long periods of time.
This is one of the primary challenges of 21st century science and technology, and it distinguishes quantum information processing from ubiquitous information processing devices we use today. QIS encompasses many different disciplines, including information science, complexity theory, computer science, and various branches of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering.
“CQuIC brings a quantum-information perspective to physics-based research. In particular, research within CQuIC applies the new ideas and techniques of QIS to the state-of-the-art laboratory task of controlling the behavior of quantum systems, so these tiny systems can be made to do what we want, instead of what comes naturally,” Caves said. “One major application is likely to be to quantum metrology, where the objective is to develop devices for making high-precision, quantum-limited measurements.”
CQuIC will partner with four external institutions, the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, the quantum information and quantum nanoscience groups at the University of Queensland, the extensive QIS research efforts at Sandia National Laboratories, and the Quantum Initiative at Los Alamos National Laboratory. These partnerships focus on a two-way flow of ideas and people, thus expanding the theoretical and experimental capabilities available to CQuIC and the partnering institutions.
CQuIC is also the administrative home of the Southwest Quantum Information and Technology (SQuInT) Network, which promotes QIS research at about 20 institutions located mainly in the southwest U.S. The 12th Annual SQuInT Workshop SQuInT, held Feb. 18-21 at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe, attracted 150 attendees to a three-day program of technical presentations. The workshop featured an opening session devoted to presentations from CQuIC’s partnering institutions.