Rainer Blatt

Rainer Blatt, Professor, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences#

"The Quantum Way of Doing Computations"#


Since the mid nineties of the 20th century it became apparent that one of the centuries’ most important technological inventions, computers in general and many of their applications could possibly be further enormously enhanced by using operations based on quantum physics.

This is timely since the classical roadmaps for the development of computational devices, commonly known as Moore’s law, will cease to be applicable within the next decade due to the ever smaller sizes of the electronic components that soon will enter the quantum physics realm. Computations, whether they happen in our heads or with any computational device, always rely on real physical processes, which are data input, data representation in a memory, data manipulation using algorithms and finally, the data output.

Building a quantum computer then requires the implementation of quantum bits (qubits) as storage sites for quantum information, quantum registers and quantum gates for data handling and processing and the development of quantum algorithms.

In this talk, the basic functional principle of a quantum computer will be briefly reviewed. It will be shown how strings of trapped ions can be used to build a quantum information processor and how basic computations can be performed using quantum techniques. In particular, the quantum way of doing computations will be illustrated by quantum simulations and it will be shown how the current small devices can possibly be scaled to larger systems.


Rainer Blatt is Professor at the Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, http:www.quantumoptics.at and Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, http://www.iqoqi.at

Rainer Blatt was born in Idar-Oberstein/Germany. He studied physics at the University of Mainz. He finished his doctorate in 1981 and worked as a research assistant.

In 1982, he went to the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), Boulder, USA, and worked with John Hall for a year. In 1983, he joined the FU Berlin, and in the following year went to the University of Hamburg.

After another stay in the US, he qualified as a professor by receiving the “venia docendi” in 1988. In 1989 to 1994 he worked as a Heisenberg research fellow in Hamburg and returned several times to JILA in Boulder.

In 1994 he was appointed to a chair at the University of Göttingen and in the following year accepted a chair at the University of Innsbruck.

Since 2003 Blatt has also held the position of Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information.

Blatt is known for his support of young scientists and has been awarded numerous scientific prizes nationally and internationally.

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