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Dr. John Donohue

University of Waterloo
Date of Live Presentation: Thu, 28-Feb-2019
Location: Univ. of PEI


The Second Quantum Revolution


1950s, the early-century arguments over quantum foundations and interpretations were quietly swept aside once scientists and engineers demonstrated tools and technologies that could only be imagined with the help of quantum mechanics. The laser, nuclear magnetic resonance, atomic clocks, and semi-conductor technologies have revolutionized the world in ways big and small, and another quantum revolution lies around the corner. By combining tools from the information theoretic study of computer science and multiple disciplines of experimental physics, quantum computing, communications, and sensing are poised to set the technological standard going forward. In this talk, I will overview the field of quantum information science, from its background and history to current experimental progress and early industrial adoption. I will overview how the fundamental unit of quantum information, the qubit, can be experimentally realized using structured superconducting circuits, the energetic structure of trapped ions, and the numerous degrees of freedom offered by single-photon level light. I will discuss how one of the fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics, the measurement-disturbance relationship, can be used as a tool to guarantee secure communications. Finally, I will introduce how an information-theoretic approach to quantum measurement can provide new tools with real-world applications.

Short bio

Dr. John M. Donohue is the Scientific Outreach Manager at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. His job is to communicate quantum science to audiences both broad and specialized. Dr. Donohue received his PhD in Physics with a Quantum Information specialization from the University of Waterloo in 2016, where his research focused on quantum nonlinear optics. Dr. Donohue has completed postdoctoral research in Paderborn, Germany, discovering quantum-compatible ultrafast all-optical pulse processing techniques enabled by nonlinear waveguide techniques. He received his BSc in Physics from the University of Windsor in 2011.

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