February 26, 2021

We hope you can join us for our third faculty candidate Monday, March 15 with Dr. Wenchao Xu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Speaker: Dr. Wenchao Xu – MIT

Title: Quantum information science with photons and neutral atoms

Date/Time: Monday, March 15 10:30 a.m. (PST)

Zoom Link: https://washington.zoom.us/j/96178781965

Zoom Password: 03152021

Title: Quantum information science with photons and neutral atoms

 Abstract: Quantum information science promises great potential to revolutionize our current technologies such as quantum computation, which can solve classically inaccessible problems. To build a practical quantum computer, it is essential to have precise control over individual quanta. By interfacing free-space photons and atomic platforms, we can maximize the performance of quantum computation, as each platform has its own advantages.

In this talk, I will first show how we manipulate individual photons, the smallest energy carrier of light, by using an atomic ensemble as a quantum nonlinear optical medium. The nonlinear medium allows for full control over interactions between photons, with interactions being the key ingredient to photonic quantum information processing. In the second part, I will show a new approach for building a quantum computer with arrays of atomic ensembles. By harnessing the collective optical effects of atomic ensembles, we demonstrated the fast preparation and detection of atomic qubits, which enables significantly faster quantum computation in atomic arrays.

 Biography:​ Wenchao Xu is a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with research interests centered on implementing quantum information science by photons and neutral Rydberg atoms. Wenchao completed her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At UIUC, her research focused on the dynamics of ultracold fermions trapped in optical lattices. This experimental platform realized an analog quantum emulator, which provides insights into open questions in condensed matter physics. ​