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Exotic Phases of Matter - Fellows Colloquium

Exotic Phases of Matter - The Promise of Quantum Computing

Friday, May 7, 2021
7:00pm via Zoom

In 1981, Richard Feynman suggested that some computational tasks could be done exponentially faster by exploiting the power of quantum physics. Tasks like searching for a needle (a number) in a haystack, factoring huge integers into their prime factors, and designing life-saving drugs from atoms on up. A couple of those seemingly innocent tasks are also intimately connected to cryptography, security, and potentially espionage.

So, nearly 40 years later, why aren't "quantum computers" everywhere? It turns out that maintaining the fragile quantum mechanical nature of the quantum computer long enough to complete the task remains the biggest challenge.

Join us as Dr. Peterson discusses how leveraging exotic phases of matter – nanotechnology, materials science, mathematics, and quantum mechanics – has pushed science right to the edge of realizing Feynman's dream.


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About the Presenter

Dr. Michael Peterson

Dr. Michael Peterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He received his B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Utah and his Ph.D. in Physics from Pennsylvania State University. He completed his postdoctoral training at UC Santa Cruz, the University of Maryland at College Park, and UC Santa Barbara before joining CSULB in 2011.

His research interests focus on strongly interacting electron systems under extreme quantum mechanical conditions in which exotic topologically ordered phases of matter emerge with applications to fault tolerant quantum computers. Dr. Peterson's research has been supported by grants from NSF and CSULB.