[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium - Olivier Pfister

December 3, 2021
4pm - 5pm
Small Hall, Room 122
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public

Prof. Olivier Pfister, University of Virginia Title of talk: Toward quantum simulation of particle physics with quantum optics


As envisioned by Feynman in 1981, an N-qubit quantum processor could be used to simulate quantum systems over the corresponding 2^N-dimensional Hilbert space and therefore provide such quantum simulation with an exponential increase in computational power. (For example, one can think of simply measuring the energy of a quenched, specifically designed quantum system whose ground level is too hard to calculate.) An interesting avenue for quantum simulation was formulated by Jordan, Lee, and Preskill [1] who proposed _efficient_ quantum sampling for accessing scattering amplitudes in quantum field theory. This original proposal was subsequently translated from the discrete qubit encoding to the continuous-variable qumode encoding [2], which can use quantum optical fields and is better suited to quantum optics [3]. In this talk, I will present these ideas and a current collaborative effort led by Jefferson Laboratory and involving William and Mary, Old Dominion University, and the University of Virginia, and I will elaborate on how my group's experimental advances on scalable quantum computing can be put to use in that context.

This work is supported by NSF grants PHY-1820882 and PHY-2112867 and by the Jefferson Lab LDRD project No. LDRD21-17 under which Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates Jefferson Lab.

[1] S.L. Jordan, K.S. Lee, and J. Preskill, Quantum Algorithms for Quantum Field Theories, Science 336, 1130 (2012).

[2] K. Marshall, R. Pooser, G. Siopsis, and Ch. Weedbrook, Quantum simulation of quantum field theory using continuous variables, Phys. Rev. A 92, 063825 (2015).

[3] O. Pfister, Continuous-variable quantum computing in the quantum optical frequency comb, J. Phys. B, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 53, 012001 (2019).




Olivier Pfister received the B.S. in Physics from Université de Nice, France, in 1987, and the M.S. and the Ph.D. in Physics from Université Paris-Nord, France, in 1989 and 1993. In 1994, he was a lecturer at INM, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, in Paris. He was then a research associate with John L. Hall at JILA, University of Colorado (1994-97) and with Daniel J. Gauthier at Duke University (1997-99). In 1999, he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia, where he is now a professor of physics. Olivier Pfister is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of Optica, IEEE, and SPIE. His general research area is atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, with past interests in quantum measurements at the ultimate precision, ultrahigh resolution laser spectroscopy, symmetry effects in small molecules, nonlinear optics for optical frequency chains, and two-photon lasers. His current research interest is quantum computing with light.