Quantum computers

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

The interview begins with Schleich recounting his role in the foundation of the Institute of Quantum Technologies at DLR, the German Aerospace Center, in an effort to study Bose-Einstein condensation in microgravity environments. He also discusses his work at the University of Ulm and the Texas A&M University’s Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, as well as the interplay between theory and experiment in his field of quantum optics. The interview then shifts to Schleich’s biography, including his education in physics at the University of Munich, work as a doctoral student with Herbert Walther and Marlan Scully, participation in the summer school at Les Houches, winning the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Prize, and postdoctoral work with John Wheeler. He discusses the role of Walther in establishing quantum optics in Germany and contrasts the thinking styles of Scully and Wheeler. Schleich recounts securing a chair professorship at the University of Ulm in 1991 and how winning the prestigious Leibniz Prize helped him to establish himself and support his students. He also discusses his work on quantum mechanics and analytic number theory with Helmut Maier, the value for quantum optics of experiments that manipulate single atoms, phase space as a key theme running throughout his work, and his involvement with a project to build a quantum computer in Germany.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, Yuhua Duan discusses: his role at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) under the US Department of Energy (DoE); childhood poverty in the Chinese countryside; experience as an undergraduate in 1980s China; master’s degree in chemical physics at the University of Science and Technology (UST) in China; PhD in condensed matter physics; mentorship with T.S. Kê at UST; postdoc studying surface physics at Fudan University under Xide Xie; time at Basel University in the Institute of Physical Chemistry; research associate position at University of Minnesota (U of M) School of Physics and Astronomy under Woods Halley, modeling on the polymer electrolyte for battery applications; switch to Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department to focus on protein-protein interaction; decision to stay in the US and apply for citizenship; joining the NETL team; research simulating the microwave sintering by finite element approach; work on CO2 capture to fight climate change; discussion of CO2 storage and use; work developing sensor materials that function under extreme conditions; discussion of quantum information science in the energy sector and quantum sensor research; tritium production research; using a supercomputer for his work, discussions of capabilities of the quantum computer; and the impact of political administration changes on work focus at NETL. Toward the end of the interview, Duan reflects on NETL’s contributions to research on controlling carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.