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Quantum Information

JILA scientists conduct innovative research in quantum information with a goal of better understanding the tiny, cold world where the laws of quantum mechanics apply. This research encompasses the exciting new research areas of new quantum technologies, quantum simulation, and quantum computing. Research in new quantum technologies features investigations into hybrid quantum systems that probe the quantum interface between light and micro mechanical motion as well as the creation and investigation of trapped single neutral atoms.

In quantum simulation, JILA scientists have built two quantum simulators that probe the quantum mechanical behavior of cool, lattice-confined Sr atoms and ultracold KRb molecules. The new Sr-lattice clock simulator is being used to investigate quantum magnetism and other quantum behaviors. The KRb simulator is also being using to probe quantum magnetism and exotic quantum behaviors that manifest at ultralow temperatures. In the field of quantum computing, researchers are investigating multidimensional scans of the quantum states of microwave fields and quantum synchronization. JILA scientists have also devised an innovative model of a quantum computer based on Sr atoms in a lattice.

The Institute’s research in quantum information supports its work in atomic, molecular, and optical physics, nanoscience, and precision measurement. Together, JILA’s quantum information experts are looking for answers to profound questions in this new frontier of physics:


  • What is the largest material object that can be prepared in a quantum superposition?
  • Is there a limit to the number of particles that can be entangled?
  • How do you engineer a tiny drum so that its billions of atoms act in unison?
  • Can we completely control atoms at the single particle level? Can we use this knowledge to build a quantum computer?
  • How can we measure and control the collective quantum states of atoms?
  • Can we entangle the quantum states of a microwave field and preserve this entanglement over significant distances?
  • What is the relationship between quantum synchronization and the synchronization of firefly flashes and cricket chirping we observe in our everyday world?
  • What is the best way to build a quantum computer?