Chris Ballance: Quantum Computing
Chris’ research interests lie in the emerging field of experimental quantum computation.
A quantum computer promises the ability to solve problems that would be too complex for any ordinary computer by exploiting the laws of quantum mechanics. Many currently intractable problems in fields ranging from drug design to cryptography could potentially be solved using a quantum computer. Building a large quantum computer is a formidably complex undertaking that is still far from being demonstrated, but in the past decade several physical implementations have been developed that have no known fundamental obstacles.
Chris’ research is focused on using trapped atomic ions, one of the most promising implementations to date, to develop the building blocks of a quantum computer. This involves developing techniques to control the quantum mechanics of the system with the exquisite precision necessary to perform useful calculations.