Quantum Computers [starts at 7:05] Dr. David Wineland has worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, for 38 years. In 2012, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with France’s Dr. Serge Haroche for “ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems”. Dr. Wineland and his colleagues use electromagnetic fields to trap individual ions for long periods of time, and lasers to place the ions in quantum superposition states. Superposition is like being both here and there at the same time.
Superposition, if taken literally (as many physicists believe it should, although some disagree), results in some very strange behaviors, like in a thought experiment designed by Erwin Schrodinger. Schrodinger’s thought experiment describes how a cat in a box can both dead and alive at the same time. Dr. Wineland talks with How On Earth’s Jim Pullen about the connection between his work and Schrodinger’s famous cat. He says quantum computers are in the news.
Host, Engineer, Producer: Joel Parker
Additional contributions: Jim Pullen, Jane Palmer, Beth Bartel, Kendra Krueger
Listen to the show: