On the evening of Friday, January 26th, Professor David Awschalom delivered a public lecture —in addition to a discussion and reception that lasted an hour and a half afterwards— to a sold-out crowd of nearly 800 people at Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium in Batavia, Illinois. The lecture, entitled “Quantum Engineering for Next-Generation Technologies”, was part of Fermilab’s Art & Lecture series, which connects surrounding communities to Fermilab through a diverse offering of events, ranging from lectures on a wide variety of scientific and engineering topics to performances by performing art groups.
Professor Awschalom’s lecture focused on the rapid development of a new generation of quantum technologies — an area of research at the border between science and engineering that is changing the way in which we think about information itself. This emerging field of quantum engineering offers the promise of fundamentally new information technologies based on single atoms, where quantum physics – and its exotic properties including entanglement and teleportation – determines their behavior. Powerful and robust quantum computers, tamper-proof encrypted communication, and precise, molecular-level imaging and sensing form merely a snippet of the immense number of applications quantum engineering can offer to society.
David Awschalom is the Liew Family Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, and a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Before arriving in Chicago, he was the Director of the California NanoSystems Institute and Professor of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California – Santa Barbara. He works in the emerging fields of spintronics and quantum information engineering, where his students develop new methods to explore and control the quantum states of individual electrons and nuclei. Dr. Awschalom is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the European Academy of Sciences.