WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The University of Waterloo today
announced the appointment of Steve MacLean, former president of the
Canadian Space Agency, and Harvard professor Amir Yacoby as new members
of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC).
MacLean joins IQC as an associate member and Yacoby is appointed as the
Lazaridis Chair in Physics.
"Waterloo stands amongst the worlds leaders in the revolutionary field
of quantum science," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and
vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "IQC brings together internationally
recognized researchers who are already developing our understanding of
the quantum world. I'm delighted to welcome these two accomplished
scientists to Waterloo to help push that understanding further
"It is fantastic that two scientists of the calibre of Steve MacLean and
Amir Yacoby are joining IQC," said Raymond Laflamme, executive director
of IQC. "Their experience and insight will complement our extraordinary
community of researchers and continue the truly world-class research
already happening here."
Steve MacLean is a laser physicist whose research has included electro-optics, laser-induced fluorescence of particles and crystals and multi-photon
laser spectroscopy. MacLean's work will include the development of
As quantum research leads closer and closer to the very building blocks
of nature, the quest to capture dynamic images at these scales becomes
challenging. An attosecond laser, which would produce shorter and more
powerful pulses of light, could allow for more precise images of the
tiniest parts of our world. An attosecond is one quintillionth of a
second and a laser with such short pulse lengths could help capture
images as small as the space between atoms.
"I'm going back to my roots," says MacLean. "I've always been a
physicist at heart. A change is coming in how we build useful devices
using the ideas of quantum mechanics. I'm excited to be a part of that
here at IQC."
MacLean retired from his role as President of the Canadian Space Agency
in February 2013. He served as Mission Specialist on the International
Space Station in 2006 and was the first Canadian to operate the
Amir Yacoby is a renowned experimental condensed matter physicist at
Harvard University. His research explores quantum phases of matter in
reduced dimension and their applications towards quantum information
science. He will set up a lab at IQC to focus on implementing quantum
information processing in condensed matter systems.
Yacoby's research at IQC will tackle some of today's biggest research
challenges including long distance coupling of quantum bits or qubits;
the basic elements of quantum computers. Qubits can be in a coherent
superposition where a single one of them can be in two different states
at the same time. Coupling such qubits over large distances, several
microns for example, while maintaining their coherence, is one of the
main challenges in solid state implementations of quantum computation.
Having such long distance coupling, says Yacoby, will allow the
integration of many qubits on a single chip.
"Most discoveries in science, including those that lead to societal
impact, were never planned," says Yacoby. "I'm looking forward to the
hidden surprises and discoveries that will happen here at IQC."
Yacoby earned his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel
in 1994 and is currently a professor of condensed matter physics at
Harvard University. He will spend three months each year as a visiting
professor in Waterloo participating in research at IQC.
MacLean and Yacoby sit on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Quantum
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's
largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its
connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in
learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by
championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant
to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about
Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
SOURCE: University of Waterloo
For further information:
University of Waterloo
Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo
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