Kenneth Brown To Attend White House Forum on Quantum Information Science

College of Sciences professor will offer views on strategies to advance the field

The White House Office of Science and Technology has invited Kenneth Brown, an associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, to attend the Forum on Quantum Information Science on Oct. 18, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The forum is part of a government effort to highlight the opportunities and challenges in the rapidly advancing area of quantum information science (QIS).

QIS assumes that information science depends on quantum effects in physics. It uses quantum mechanical systems to solve problems in computation and communication. Potential application areas include sensing, metrology, communications, computing, and fundamental physics. 

At Tech, Brown’s group uses the techniques of QIS to address problems in physical chemistry. For experimental work, they use a collection of laser-cooled ions trapped in a quadrupole ion trap. Their theoretical work aims to understand the boundary between classical and quantum algorithms in calculating material properties.

Brown currently chairs the Topical Group on Quantum Information of the American Physical Society.

The White House forum will build on the July 2016 report Advancing Quantum Information Science: National Challenges and Opportunities by the National Science and Technology Council.

The report says progress in QIS has been substantial but challenges remain, such as stability and continuity of funding, education and workforce training needs, knowledge transfer and interfaces with industry, and materials and fabrication.

And it notes: “The interdisciplinary nature of the field, the reliance on complex, sophisticated, and precise physical arrangements in order to observe and utilize quantum behavior, and the potential for substantial economic consequences merit special attention.”

Further, “This report recommends that quantum information science be considered a priority for Federal coordination and investment, with particular attention to finding and implementing mechanisms to address identified impediments to the field.”

At the White House forum, attendees will have the opportunity to share their individual views on strategic options to advance QIS.

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A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.

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College of Sciences