Asst. Prof. Whitfield Presents: A Practical Overview of Quantum

Date: May 5, 2021

Bio: James Daniel Whitfield is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Dartmouth College. He is a pioneer in the application of quantum computing to quantum chemistry problems. In 2011, he received a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University and has held academic appointments at top institutions around the world. He currently serves on the advisory boards of Zapata Computing, of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, and of the Qubit x Qubit Coding School. Dr. Whitfield is a co-founder and chief scientific advisor at He is a class of 2006 Morehouse College graduate.

Abstract: Over the last century, quantum has grown from quantum mechanics, with explanatory power, to quantum engineering which has ushered in a wave of new commercial technology. We’ve already reached the era of so-called quantum supremacy where quantum computers can perform (presently contrived) tasks that cannot be done classically. However, quantum theory remains inaccessible to many newcomers and the promises of the technology are often oversold. To that end, this introduction aims to give a straightforward and broadly accessible framework for quantum as an extension of probability theory. This will lead into a discussion of quantum devices, quantum noise and quantum sensing. This hopefully helps put the world-wide effort to use quantum information science for practical goals into perspective. I will make efforts to highlight likely and unlikely application areas for quantum computers. Accessible tutorials, key references, and quantum software packages are provided along the way.

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