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      Building Quantum Computers in Anchorage

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      July 22, 2019

      Monday   3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

      2901 Spirit Way
      Anchorage, Alaska 99508

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      Building Quantum Computers

      Christina Knapp, Gavin Brenna, and Rovin Blume-Kohout, each raised in Alaska, explain Quantum Information Science and their research challenges

      Come and learn how three Alaskans discovered the fascinating world of quantum physics and quantum computers.

      What is quantum information science?
      · At low temperatures and small system sizes, nature acts very differently than our everyday life would indicate. For instance, particles can act probabilistically with their behavior changing dramatically if they are being observed.
      · Furthermore, particles can be highly correlated with each other so that a measurement of one particle can instantaneously affect a different particle far away.
      · The field of quantum information science seeks to understand how these properties can be used to create new technologies, such as quantum computers or secure communication.
      · This subject is of broad interest to academic groups, government agencies, and the technology industry, and spans the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

      Christina Knapp was born and raised in Anchorage, and graduated from East High School in 2009. She then went to Williams College in Massachusetts, where she planned to study English or history, but switched to physics and math after being introduced to the strange and wonderful world of quantum physics. She is finishing her PhD in physics this June at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and will move to Caltech in the fall for a postdoc. Her research focuses on how to use exotic phases of matter to build a quantum computer that is resilient to noise. Much of her work is done in collaboration with Microsoft Station Q, a Microsoft research group dedicated to building what is known as a topological quantum computer.

      Gavin Brennen grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska and graduated from UAF with a degree in physics. He went on to complete a PhD in quantum information at the University of New Mexico with a thesis proposing one of the first quantum computer architectures in what is known as an optical lattice. Afterward he worked as a post-doc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland and a senior scientist position at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) in Innsbruck Austria. In 2007, Gavin moved to Macquarie University, Sydney Australia where he is currently a Professor of Physics and director of the Centre for Quantum Engineering. His interests range from how to build quantum computers and quantum enhanced sensors, to simulations of quantum field theory and quantum security for cryptocurrencies.

      Robin Blume-Kohout was born on a kitchen table in the Bush, about 25 miles north of the village of Tanana. After graduating from Fairbanks’s Lathrop H.S. in 1994, he went to Kenyon College in Ohio, where he majored in physics and English, swam competitively, and graduated in 1998. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from UC-Berkeley in 2005 for research at Los Alamos National Lab on how decoherence lets classical reality emerge from quantum physics. After postdoctoral fellowships at Caltech, the Perimeter Institute, and Los Alamos (again), he joined Sandia National Labs (Albuquerque, NM) as a staff scientist. Today, Robin is the principal investigator for Sandia’s Quantum Performance Laboratory and an associate research professor at the University of New Mexico. He tries to measure how well quantum computers work, and why they fail. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and daughter, commutes a really long way to work, and tries to get back to his cabin in the Bush at least once a year to saw boards and fix the roof.

      Everyone is encouraged to attend this event. Included in the talks will be the implications of their current research for the future.

      All UAA Campus Bookstore events are free and open to the public. There is free parking for these events in the South Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Complex NW Lot.

      UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

      Cost: Free -

      Categories: University & Alumni | Science | Technology

      Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets.