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Quantum Computing at NIST

Dr. Carl Williams

In this video from the HPC User Forum in Tucson, Carl Williams from NIST presents: Quantum Computing at NIST.

Quantum information science research at NIST explores ways to employ phenomena exclusive to the quantum world to measure, encode and process information for useful purposes, from powerful data encryption to computers that could solve problems intractable with classical computers.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established the agency to remove a major challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals.

By its very nature, quantum science sets fundamental limits on precision measurements, so by necessity NIST is a leader in basic and applied research in quantum science. Some of the most fundamental quantum research in the world is carried out in partnerships between NIST and top universities, such as JILA, the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS). Scientists in these institutes leverage the combined resources of the partners to advance research in the control of atoms and molecules and development of ultra-fast lasers capable of manipulating states of matter. The discoveries that have been made in these institutes continue to be applied at NIST to meeting new measurement challenges, such as the development of the world’s best atomic clocks and lasers.

An emerging research focus at NIST is understanding the potential for quantum-based technology to transform security, computing and communications, and to develop the measurement and standards infrastructure necessary to exploit this potential. Breakthroughs at NIST enabled the first forays into real-world quantum computing and tested the limits of quantum information and security. NIST is also developing the technology to harness the power of quantum computing in the everyday world through nanotechnology.

Carl J. Williams is Deputy Director of the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information in Computer Science and Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland (UMD). He directs the Quantum Information Program and helps lead the National Strategic Computing Initiative at NIST. He is a member and chairs interagency efforts in support of these activities under the Committee of Science of the National Science and Technology Council. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Team within the PML and represents the PML to other federal agencies.

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