How embracing Disorder in nanotechnology may lead to Quantum Machines

While most of us are just trying to keep up with the latest marvels of the digital age, like talking smart phones and robotic vacuum cleaners, some are focused instead on finding ways to reinvent computing altogether. One of the most promising pathways to this may emerge from the recent efforts to engineer ‘quantum machines’.
The quantum-mechanical nature of matter at the atomic scale may allow us to not only build information technologies with unprecedented levels of computational power, but also possibly lead us to discover and develop new ways of embracing the defects and disorder that nature has made common at the nanoscale. David Awschalom is an experimental physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has earned numerous awards for his work in the field of semiconductor spintronics. He and his team are working to make quantum machines a reality by mobilising atomic-scale defects in diamond and diamond-like materials to store and process information in a uniquely quantum-mechanical way. In his presentation at Falling Walls, Awschalom will discuss his latest work, some of the potential uses and the future challenges of these technologies.

David Awschalom

University of California, Santa Barbara & California NanoSystem Institute

David Awschalom is a Professor of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and serves as the Peter J. Clarke Director of the California NanoSystems Institute. He is a pioneer in the field of semiconductor spintronics, exploring the quantum mechanical behavior of charges and spins in nanostructures and the foundations of solid-state quantum information processing. Professor Awschalom received an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award, the David Turnbull Award and the Outstanding Investigator Prize from the Materials Research Society, the International Magnetism Prize and Néel Medal from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, the Oliver Buckley Prize from the American Physical Society, the Europhysics Prize from the European Physical Society, and the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Awschalom is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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