A New Quantum Era

Coordinators: Birgitta Whaley

During the first thirty years of the 20th century, the quantum radically realigned the fundamental framework of physics. The last thirty years have seen a development no less exciting: the birth and rapid growth of the new science of quantum information, which has emerged at the nexus of quantum physics, information theory and computational science and engineering. The resulting ideas, both theoretical and technological, have refocused the attention of scientists on the foundations of quantum mechanics, and how we may realize and probe these fundamental issues by experimental means. Many astounding accomplishments have already been made: experimental demonstration of non-local quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation over macroscopic distances, exquisite control of light and matter at the level of individual particles, and glimpses of new paradigms for computation and communication, to name a few. Others, such as novel manifestations of quantum mechanics in macroscopic and biological systems, may be just around the corner.

The goal of this Teachers' Conference, which will take place in conjunction with the KITP interdisciplinary workshop on "Control of Complex Quantum Systems", is to provide high-school science teachers with an update on the exciting developments, both in physics and technology, at this rapidly expanding quantum frontier.

The Speakers:  Gerald Milburn (Brisbane, Australia) will talk about quantum strangeness, entanglement, and quantum information.  R. J. Dwayne Miller (Hamburg, Germany and Toronto, Canada) will talk about the long held dream to directly observe atomic motions during the defining moments of chemistry and biochemistry, including its recent realization in Making the Molecular Movie: the Chemists' Gendanken Experiment Enters the Lab FrameJohn Martinis (Santa Barbara, CA) will talk on quantum circuits and macroscopic quantum systems, and Birgitta Whaley (Berkeley, CA) will discuss the occurrence, and role, of quantum mechanical phenomena in biology.