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Physicist to speak Jan. 30

01/24/2007

An ion in a trap, illuminated by two laser beams
Chris Monroe, professor of physics at Michigan University, will be a Division of Laser Science Distinguished Lecturer at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in 46 Culler Hall. His talk is titled "Building a Quantum Computer Atom by Atom."

Monroe, a highly respected researcher, is trying to make a quantum computer with trapped ions, says Perry Rice (physics).

"A quantum computer works by the rules of quantum mechanics, in particular instead of bits that are 1's or 0's, it uses a qubit, which in a very real sense can be a 1 and a 0 at the same time. Quantum computers can be exponentially faster than classical computers for certain tasks, such as breaking various encryption schemes used by banks and intelligence agencies," Rice says.

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