> Science Luncheon
Luis A. Orozco
University of Maryland
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico where he got a degree in engineering, he studied his doctorate in physics at the University of Texas at Austin. After a postdoctoral stay at Harvard and CERN he became professor at Stony Brook University and later moved to the University of Maryland where he co-founded the Joint Quantum Institute and co-directs the Physics Frontier Center. His interests include fundamental discrete symmetries of nature, atomic physics, and quantum optics. He is fellow of the APS, OSA, and IOP and corresponding member of the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias. He has had more than 20 PhD students and for more than twenty years has received Mexican undergraduate students for a summer research experience in his laboratory.
From imaginary experiments to quantum information
Quantum mechanics is one of the pillars of contemporary physics. Its development took almost thirty years and its consolidation, took as many years. In the middle of last century, new predictions appeared that enabled the invention of the transistor. This brought the first quantum revolution as the transistor facilitated the processing and storage of information.
The founders of quantum mechanics realized that its formulation implied new properties of nature that were far from intuitive: for example, a special class of correlations that we call entanglement. Control of individual atoms or electrons was not possible so physicists used imaginary (gedanken) experiments designed to prove principles and predictions of quantum mechanics in the microscopic world. This changed with the development of traps for electrons, atoms, and ions in the seventies and eighties.
From the thirties to the eighties the non-intuitive quantum properties were just a curiosity; however, in the nineties it became clear that these properties of quantum mechanics could be used in the area of information processing. Quantum information was born. We are learning to understand, measure, and use a new resource of nature: quantum entanglement. I will present some of the fascinating world of quantum mechanics and the second revolution that is happening now showing developments with optical nanofibers.