My current research interests lie at the boundary of pure and applied research: developing the experimental methods and technology that will take quantum information processing (QIP) from the realm of basic algorithms to the level of performing useful calculations and simulations. My research uses sets of atomic ions trapped in specialized, microfabricated rf-Paul traps. Combined with laser cooling and laser state manipulation (as well as newer techniques), atomic- ion based quantum-bits have proven to be one of the most promising systems for QIP applications.

Quantum Information Processing (QIP)

QIP is the field of physics which deals with using quantum effects to perfom calculations that cannot be done practical with classical computers. This field is often called simply Quantum Computing but also spans the field of Quantum Simulation. Following in the footsteps of giants, I call it Quantum Information Processing (QIP) when talking about the field in general.

My particular contributions are in the area of QIP with ions as a member of the Quantum Information Systems group at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and previously as a postdoc at the Ion Storage Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO.

NIST Racetrack trap

During my postdoc in the Ion Storage Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, we designed and fabricated (with myself leading the effort) a specialized ion trap with 150-electrodes in a configuration that become known as the Racetrack trap (there were quite a few humerous names that, thankfully, didn't stick).

An image of this trap made it into Popular Science’s The Most Amazing Science Images of 2010 and the resulting paper is included in New Journal of Physics’ “Best of 2010” collection. Here is a low res version of the image:

Racetrack trap

As an accompaniment to the paper, I created a video describing the trap for New Journal of Physics’ new video abstract feature. The video can be found here.

Electron Dipole Moments

My thesis research was in the field of precision measurements, in particular the search for a permanent electric dipole moment (EDM) of the electron. This is really particle physics but using the tools of low energy atomic physics. Searches for the EDM have been going on for many decades and have turned up null results so far. However, there are good reasons to believe that the EDM exists at some level but depending on how big the property is, we can restrict newer particle theories or definitively rule that there is "Physics Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics".