Van Winter Lecture Series

The 2017-18 van Winter Memorial Lecture in Mathematical Physics

Speaker: John Preskill, California Institute of Technology

Title: Quantum Computing and the Entanglement Frontier
Date, time, location: 4:15 pm, Friday, 6 April 2018, Jacobs Science Building, Room 121
Abstract: In many applications, e.g. photonic and quantum systems, one is interested in controlled localization of wave energy.

The quantum laws governing atoms and other tiny objects seem to defy common sense, and information encoded in quantum systems has weird properties that baffle our feeble human minds. John Preskill will explain why he loves quantum entanglement, the elusive feature making quantum information fundamentally different from information in the macroscopic world. By exploiting quantum entanglement, quantum computers should be able to solve otherwise intractable problems, with far-reaching applications to cryptology, materials, and fundamental physical science. Preskill is less weird than a quantum computer, and easier to understand.

Bio: John Preskill is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, and Director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech. Preskill received his Ph.D. in physics in 1980 from Harvard, and joined the Caltech faculty in 1983. Preskill began his career in particle physics and cosmology, but in the 1990s he got excited about the possibility of solving otherwise intractable problems by exploiting quantum physics; he is especially intrigued by the ways our deepening understanding of quantum information and quantum computing can be applied to other fundamental issues in physics, such as the quantum structure of space and time. You can follow him on Twitter @preskill.

There will be a reception following the lecture.

Sponsored by the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics, and Computer Science, and the Graduate School of the University of Kentucky.  

Past van Winter lecturers

  • 2017-18, John Preskill, California Institute of Technology
  • 2016-17, MIchael Weinstein, Columbia University
  • 2015-16, John Cardy, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2014-15, Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University
  • 2013-14, Juan Maldacena, Institute for Advanced Study
  • 2012-13, Israel Michael Sigal, University of Toronto
  • 2011-12, Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University
  • 2010-11, Gunther Uhlmann, University of Washington
  • 2009-10, Christopher Hill, Fermilab
  • 2008-09, Percy Deift, Courant Institute, NYU
  • 2007-08, Joel Lebowitz, Rutgers University
  • 2006-07, Barry Simon, California Inst. of Technology
  • 2005-06, Eric Heller, Harvard University
  • 2004-05, Maciej Zworski, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2003-04, Roger Blandford, Stanford University
  • 2002-03, Clifford Taubes, Harvard University
  • 2001-02, Elliot Lieb, Princeton University

About the van Winter Memorial Lecture in Mathematical Physics

The van Winter Memorial Lecture honors the memory of Clasine van Winter, who held a professorship in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1968 to her retirement in 1999. Professor Van Winter specialized in the study of multiparticle quantum systems; her contributions include the Weinberg-van Winter equations for a multiparticle quantum system, derived independently by Professor van Winter and Professor Steven Weinberg, and the so-called HVZ Theorem which characterizes the essential spectrum of multiparticle quantum systems. She passed away in October of 2000.

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