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Guest Post: John Preskill on Individual Quantum Systems

11 Oct 2012, 01:12 UTC
Guest Post: John Preskill on Individual Quantum Systems
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In the last post I suggested that nobody should come to these parts looking for insight into the kind of work that was just rewarded with the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics. How wrong I was! True, you shouldn’t look to me for such things, but we were able to borrow an expert from a neighboring blog to help us out. John Preskill is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics (not a bad title) here at Caltech. He was a leader in quantum field theory for a long time, before getting interested in quantum information theory and becoming a leader in that. He is part of Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, which has started a fantastic new blog called Quantum Frontiers. This is a cross-post between that blog and ours, but you should certainly be checking out Quantum Frontiers on a regular basis.

When I went to school in the 20th century, “quantum measurements” in the laboratory were typically performed on ensembles of similarly prepared systems. In the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly routine to perform quantum measurements on single atoms, photons, electrons, or phonons. The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics recognizes two of the ...

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