Optically controlled spins as qubits

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Date/Time:Monday, 25 Apr 2011 from 4:10 pm to 5:10 pm
Location:Physics, Room 5
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Sophia E. Economou (Naval Research Lab)

Quantum mechanics offers a dramatically novel way of perceiving and manipulating information. Unlike a classical bit which can take either of two values, 0 or 1, a unit of quantum information (qubit), such as a spin, can assume both values simultaneously in a quantum superposition. This property, which makes quantum systems invaluable for information processing, is also their main weakness: interaction with the environment and with imprecise control fields may destroy the fragile quantum superposition.
Recent years have witnessed a lively pursuit of feasible quantum information processing schemes that can overcome such challenges. Various systems, from photons to ions to spins in solids are currently being investigated as viable qubit prototypes. A particularly promising qubit realization is a single electron spin trapped in a semiconductor nanostructure. I will give an overview of optically controlled spins in quantum dots with emphasis on the interesting physics that occur in such systems.