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Jeff Thompson (Princeton)

"Quantum computing with neutral ytterbium atoms"

Event Details:

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
12:00pm - 1:00pm PST


Physics & Astrophysics Building, Room 102/103

Quantum computing with neutral atoms has progressed rapidly in recent years, combining large system sizes, flexible and dynamic connectivity, and quickly improving gate fidelities. The pioneering work in this field has been implemented using alkali atoms, primarily rubidium and cesium. However, divalent, alkaline-earth-like atoms such as ytterbium offer significant technical advantages. In this talk, I will present our progress on quantum computing using 171-Yb atoms, including high-fidelity imaging, nuclear spin qubits with extremely long coherence times, and two-qubit gates on nuclear spins using Rydberg states [1,2]. I will also discuss several unexpected benefits of alkaline-earth-atoms: an extremely robust and power-efficient local gate addressing scheme [3], and a novel approach to quantum error correction called “erasure conversion”, which has the potential to implement the surface code with a threshold exceeding 4%, using the unique level structure of 171-Yb to convert spontaneous emission events into erasure errors [4].

[1] S. Saskin et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 143002 (2019).
[2] A. P. Burgers et al, PRX Quantum 3, 020326 (2022).
[3] S. Ma, A. P. Burgers, et al, Phys. Rev. X 12, 021028 (2022).
[4] Y. Wu, et al, Nat. Comms. 13, 4657 (2022).


Jeff Thompson is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Princeton University. His work focuses on experimental atomic physics and quantum optics, with application to quantum technologies including quantum communication networks and quantum computing. His work has been recognized by several awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers, the DOE Early Career award, NSF CAREER and the 2023 New Horizons Prize in Physics.

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