• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    Discovering New Possibilities: The Brave World of Quantum Information Engineering

    BySam Figg

    Feb 7, 2024
    Discovering New Possibilities: The Brave World of Quantum Information Engineering

    Quantum information engineering is at the forefront of scientific advancements, offering endless possibilities for the future. Chloe Washabaugh, a Ph.D. student in quantum engineering at the University of Chicago, is diligently working to shape this groundbreaking field through her research on quantum information processors.

    As a molecular engineer, Washabaugh dives into the fundamental nature of information and explores how molecules can be manipulated to process it. She seeks answers to questions about the essence of information and its expressions. While contemplating these profound inquiries, she also finds herself crawling on the floor of the lab, searching for dropped screws or learning how to build support structures.

    Quantum information engineering is expected to revolutionize various sectors, including healthcare, finance, and communication. Unlike traditional technologies that use binary code as a basis for information, where it is either a 0 or 1, quantum technologies harness the full potential of electrons. According to Washabaugh, electrons possess multiple degrees of freedom, and their properties can be leveraged to unlock vast opportunities for quantum information processing.

    In her work, Washabaugh focuses on developing custom molecules known as qubits, which serve as carriers of quantum information. These molecular qubits offer flexibility in their applications, and their potential uses are still being explored. By tailoring the design and properties of these qubits, such as the composition of atoms and the branching structure, they can be optimized for specific purposes, whether it’s quantum sensing or communication.

    Washabaugh’s research is part of a collaborative effort led by David Awschalom at the University of Chicago, along with colleagues at MIT. The collaboration combines the expertise of physicists, chemists, and materials scientists to advance the field of quantum information engineering.

    Driven by her passion for science, Washabaugh also works tirelessly to inspire and educate others about the wonders of quantum research. She believes in the power of diverse perspectives and aims to engage decision-makers in public policy discussions to shape the future of quantum technologies.

    In conclusion, quantum information engineering offers a whole new realm of possibilities. Chloe Washabaugh’s groundbreaking research and dedication to the field are paving the way for a technological revolution. Through her work, she is shaping the future of quantum information and inspiring the next generation of researchers to explore the fascinating world of quantum engineering.

    Quantum information engineering refers to the study and manipulation of information at the quantum level. It involves harnessing the unique properties of quantum systems, such as electrons, to process and transmit information.

    Quantum information processors are devices that utilize quantum systems, such as qubits, to perform computations or other information processing tasks.

    A qubit is a quantum version of a classical bit. While classical bits can only represent information in a 0 or 1 state, qubits can exist in a superposition of both states simultaneously, allowing for the storage and processing of vast amounts of information.

    Quantum sensing refers to the use of quantum systems to enhance the sensitivity and accuracy of sensing technologies. By utilizing the properties of quantum systems, such as their ability to exist in multiple states simultaneously, quantum sensors can provide more precise and detailed measurements.

    The University of Chicago is a renowned educational institution where Chloe Washabaugh is pursuing her Ph.D. in quantum engineering.

    David Awschalom is a professor at the University of Chicago and one of the leaders of the collaborative effort in quantum information engineering.

    MIT refers to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another institution involved in the collaborative effort with the University of Chicago.

    To learn more about quantum information engineering and its applications, visit the official website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).