Talk #118, 2/28/18

Applied Quantum Mechanics Today

Dr. Victor Albert
DuBridge Fellow
Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics

We are often taught in school that physics consists of the never-ending interplay between theorist and experimentalist. Theorists propose models for experimentalists to verify, while unexpected experimental results cause theorists to adjust their models. While this type of science is currently happening in high-energy areas of physics (such as dark matter detection), other areas have become more crystallized and their theories more verified. One such area can be called low-energy or applied quantum physics. In this broad field, the theory — quantum mechanics — is used to describe almost all processes and is not generally questioned. In other words, enough evidence has been gathered showing that the vast majority of processes on nanometer length scales and at nanoKelvin temperatures are most effectively and to a high degree of precision described by quantum mechanics. Instead of testing theories, some primary aims of this field are to notice interesting quantum mechanical effects, to demonstrate (or realize) these effects using various currently available quantum technologies, and to develop devices based on these effects which have potential applications to the “real world”. In the past, examples of such devices include the laser, the transistor, and nuclear magnetic resonance imagers. I aim to provide a birds-eye view of the primary applications of this field today: the development of a quantum computer, quantum metrology/sensing, quantum simulation, and quantum communication.

Dr. Albert’s presentation can be downloaded by clicking on this link:
Victor Albert’s Presentation

Additional presentations by Prof. John Preskill, a colleague of Dr. Albert’s at Caltech, on this subject can found at the following links:

The collection of quantum mechanics cartoons as well as Bill Hagan’s meeting slides and coin presentation can be downloaded by clicking on these links:
Meeting Slides 2/28/28
QM Cartoons (Schrodinger’s Cat)