quantum science

Quantum mechanics is one of the most mind-blowing theories of modern physics. In this 14-minute video, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln explains what the phrase “quantum entanglement” means and how two objects can be connected by seemingly crazy quantum effects.

From Scientific American, February 2020: Collaborators from eight institutions have come together to turn a mine shaft at Fermilab into the world’s largest atom interferometer — MAGIS-100. The researchers plan to assemble the instrument in 2021 and start harnessing lasers to expand submicroscopic strontium atoms into macroscale “atom waves” soon after. Fermilab scientist Rob Plunkett comments on the mind-boggling experiment.

In November, the Chicago Quantum Exchange held a workshop about ethics and societal impacts of artificial intelligence and quantum computing technologies. Participants from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, from physicists to sociologists, discussed the implications of technology on society and vice versa and identified critical steps scientists need to take so technology is developed and implemented ethically and responsibly.

Today Fermilab announces the launch of the Fermilab Quantum Institute, which will bring all of the lab’s quantum science and technology projects under one umbrella. This new enterprise signals Fermilab’s commitment to this burgeoning field, working alongside scientific institutions and industry partners from around the world. The laboratory will use particle physics expertise to kick-start quantum technology for computing, sensors, simulations and communication.

From the College of DuPage’s The Courier, Nov. 14, 2019: Fermilab scientists Jim Kowalski and Stephen Mrenna talk about Fermilab is using quantum computing to solve the problems of the universe.

Researchers are wielding quantum physics, technologies and expertise to develop a proposed Illinois Express Quantum Network, which would stretch between Fermilab and Northwestern University’s Evanston and Chicago campuses. The metropolitan-scale, quantum-classical hybrid design combines quantum technologies with existing classical networks to create a multinode system for multiple users.

Today’s quantum computing processors must operate at temperature close to absolute zero, and that goes for their electronics, too. Fermilab’s cryoelectronics experts recently hosted a first-of-its-kind workshop where leaders in quantum technologies took on the challenges of designing computer processors and sensors that work at ultracold temperatures.

In 1999, Nature published the first demonstration of a superconducting quantum bit, or qubit, a feat that relied on trillions of atoms operating in nearly perfect synchrony so that their collective, macroscopic, quantum state was either in 0, 1, or any desired complex superposition of the two. Chad Rigetti, CEO and founder of Rigetti Computing, will give insight into their efforts as a full-stack quantum computing start-up that has provided 24/7 cloud access to quantum processors since 2017.