Colloquium: Poul Jessen

    Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    Quantum Control versus Chaos


    Quantum mechanics has been the "theory of everything" for about a century, accounting for the behavior of light and matter at all scales from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Modern physics is now increasingly focused on a new challenge: how do we make quantum systems behave the way we want, rather than having them do what comes naturally to them? This is opening up an entirely new field of "quantum engineering”, in which quantum mechanics itself becomes the foundation for new technology.

    This presentation touches on three main themes of importance for the budding quantum engineer. The first is the idea of “Control” as a scientific discipline, a way of developing a generic toolbox for control of classical and/or quantum systems. The second is the idea of “Chaos”, a phenomenon that occurs in most complex systems and which manifests itself as hypersensitivity to the tiniest perturbations (the “butterfly effect”). And the third is the idea of “Simulation”, in which a “well controlled” quantum system is used to simulate another, an idea that is now widely pursued as a means to model and understand quantum solids. The discussion will be illustrated throughout with results from experiments that use individual Cesium atoms as a test bed for quantum control and quantum simulation.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Poul S. Jessen is a Professor of Optical Science and Chair of Quantum Information and Control in the College of Optics at the University of Arizona in the USA.

    He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Aarhus in 1987 and 1989, respectively. As a PhD student he joined the group of Dr. William D. Phillips at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology where he worked on the first experiment to observe quantized atomic motion in Optical Lattices. For this research he was awarded his PhD in Physics from the University of Aarhus in 1993. Jessen was appointed as a tenure track assistant professor at the Optical Sciences Center (now College of Optical Sciences) at the University of Arizona in 1993. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a founding member of the Center for Quantum Information and Control.

    His research interests lie at the intersection of experimental atomic physics, quantum optics, and quantum information science. Recent and current projects include quantum control and measurement of single and collective atomic spins, quantum control of atoms in optical lattices, light-matter quantum interfaces based on atoms in optical nanofiber traps, spin squeezing and its use in quantum metrology, quantum tomography, quantum chaos, and quantum simulation.