Upcoming Events

13 October 2016: Quantum Public Lecture, Paul Corkum (UOttawa / NRC)

Event: Quantum Public Lecture

Title: A molecule takes a selfie while creating the world’s shortest light pulses

Speaker: Paul Corkum [University of Ottawa and National Research Council]

Time: 7:00 pm

Date: Thursday, 24 November 2016

Location: University of Calgary, MacEwan Ballroom.

Registration coming soon.

Biography: Paul Corkum started his career as a theoretical physicist but changed to experiment when he arrived as a Post doctoral Fellow at NRC in 1973. At NRC he concentrated first on laser physics but with the revolution in laser technology, intense laser pulses are now being applied in every discipline. Dr. Corkum anticipated their impact. He is best known for introducing many of the concepts in strong field atomic and molecular science. In the early 1990’s a number of new, seemingly unconnected, phenomena were discovered in strong field atomic physics. Two of the most important of these are high harmonic generation and correlated double ionization (a phenomenon in which an atom absorbs 100’s of photons and emits two electrons). Dr. Corkum developed a comprehensive theory of all of these phenomena. He then demonstrated its validity. This work is the foundation on which all subsequent research in this area has been built.

Canada Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics, Dr. Corkum is the Director of the Attosecond Science Program at NRC and a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa. Over the years, Dr. Corkum has received several distinctions in recognition of his ground-breaking research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1996) and the Royal Society of London (2005) and an elected member of the US Academy of Science (2009).

Among his most prestigious prizes are the Canadian Association of Physicists’ Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics (1996), the Royal Society of Canada’s Tory Award (2003), the Optical Societies Charles H. Townes Award (2005) and the IEEE’s Quantum Electronics Award (2005). In 2006, he has received the Killam Prize for natural sciences, and was awarded the American Physical Society’s Arthur L. Schawlow Prize for Quantum Electronics. In 2007, he was inducted as an Officer to the Order of Canada and received NSERC’s prestigious Polanyi Award in 2008.

In 2013, Dr. Corkum received two very prestigious international awards, the Harvey Prize from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and the King Faisal International Prize for Science. The Optical Society of America (OSA) awarded him the Frederic Ives Medal in 2014 and in 2015, Dr. Corkum was named Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate, reserved for researchers who are “of Nobel class” and likely to earn the Nobel someday.

Past Events

Event: Quantum Alberta Workshop 2016

Date: 13 May 2016

The Banff Centre
107 Tunnel Mountain Dr, Banff, Alberta T1L 1H5

Sponsored by: Canada National Defence, University of Calgary, University of AlbertaUniversity of Lethbridge

Workshop steering committee: Paul Barclay, Saurya Das, John Davis, Hooman Hosseinkhannazer, Lindsay LeBlanc, Barry Sanders.
One of the main objectives of QA2016 is to provide an opportunity for Alberta’s quantum and nano communities (including the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, government, and industry) to gather and strengthen the ties between us. Another major objective is to identify and highlight quantum-nano activities in Alberta related specifically to advancing quantum technologies.

Nanoscience and quantum science and technology encompass a broad set of research topics, which often intersect. As these fields continue to advance, it is expected that their impact and overlap with each other will grow. Quantum Alberta has five research themes:

  • Quantum foundations and quantum gravity
  • Quantum chemistry and multiscale modelling
  • Quantum materials
  • Quantum nanoscience and technology
  • Quantum optics and quantum information

Event: Institute for Quantum Science and Technology colloquium

Title: D-Wave’s approach to quantum computing: 1000-qubits and counting!

Speaker: Colin Williams [D-Wave Systems]

Time: 3:00 pm

Date: 7 April 2016

Location: SB 148, University of Calgary

Abstract: In this talk I will describe D-Wave’s approach to quantum computing, including the system architecture of our 1000-qubit D-Wave 2X, its programming model, and performance benchmarks. Furthermore, I will describe how the native optimization and sampling capabilities of the quantum processor can be exploited to tackle problems in a variety of fields including medicine, machine learning, and computational finance.

Event: Physics Colloquium

Title: Cavity Optomechanics in a Millikelvin Environment

Speaker: John P Davis [University of Alberta]

Time: 13:40 – 14:55

Date: 31 March 2016

Location: University Hall Room C260, University of Lethbridge

Abstract: In the past decade a revolution has taken place in our ability to measure mechanical motion, originating in large part from experiments at gravitational observatories.  Such observatories use massive optical cavities to explore the tiny changes in displacement that could be caused by passing gravitational waves.  The nanomechanical community has latched onto this concept (of using optical cavities to enhance the detection of mechanical motion), which has been deemed ‘cavity optomechanics’.  Cavity optomechanics is so extraordinarily sensitive that it has opened the door for the search for quantum phenomena in mesoscopic mechanical systems containing billions or trillions of atoms.  I will describe our work on cavity optomechanics inside a dilution refrigerator, which enables low-thermal noise torque sensing, the possibility of quantum ground state occupation of nanomechanical resonators, and interfacing with intrinsically quantum systems such as superconductors and superfluids.

Event: Quantum public lecture

Speaker: Bill Phillips, Nobel Laureate in Physics, University of Maryland and NIST fellow

Time: 7:00 pm

Date: 15 March 2016

Location: CCIS lecture theatre 1 – 140, University of Alberta

Abstract: At the beginning of the 20th century Einstein changed the way we think about Time. Near the end of the 20th century scientists learned how to cool gas atoms to temperatures billions of times lower than anything else in the universe. Now, in the 21st century, Einstein’s thinking, and ultra-cold atoms, are shaping one of the key scientific and technological wonders of contemporary life: atomic clocks, the best timekeepers ever made. Such super-accurate clocks are essential to industry, commerce, and science; they are the heart of the Global Positioning System (GPS), which guides cars, airplanes, and hikers to their destinations. Today, the best primary atomic clocks use ultra-cold atoms, achieve accuracies better than a second in 300 million years, and are getting better all the time. Super-cold atoms, with temperatures that can be below a billionth of a degree above absolute zero, use, and allow tests of, some of Einstein’s strangest predictions.

Missed the lecture?  Watch it again via Livestream:

Event: Institute for Quantum Science and Technology colloquium
Title: Computational chemistry: From small molecule quantum dynamics to new materials

Speaker: Alex Brown,  University of Alberta

Time: 3:00 pm

Date: 2nd December 2015

Location: SB 148, University of Calgary

Abstract: In this talk, I will present our recent work on detailed understanding of the dynamics of small (3-4 atoms) polyatomic molecules to the physical and photophysical properties of large inorganic species. The research will showcase a variety of electronic structure methods and dynamics techniques that can be utilized for understanding problems in molecular, optical, and nanoscale physics. In the first part of my talk, I will discuss optimal control theory and the multi-configuration time-dependent Hartree (MCTDH) technique for quantum dynamics. Prior to tackling the quantum dynamics, one requires a high quality multi-dimensional potential energy surface (PES), and, in order to exploit fully the numerical efficiency of MCTDH, the PES must be fit to sum-of-products form. I will discuss our fitting of PESs to a sum-of-products form using the neural network method with exponential neurons. I will highlight the approach using fits of CS2, HFCO, and HONO PESs based upon high-level ab initio data. Using a generic interface between the neural network PES fitting and the Heidelberg MCTDH software package, the PESs have been tested via comparison of vibrational energies to experimental measurements. In the second part of my talk, I will highlight recent examples from our work on phosphorescent tellurophene-compounds and molecular precursors for materials chemistry (research in collaboration with Prof. E. Rivard, University of Alberta). I will demonstrate how new insight can be obtained via a variety of electronic structure methods including time-dependent density functional theory, atoms-in-molecules (AIM), and natural bond order (NBO) approaches.

Event: Institute for Quantum Science and Technology colloquium

Title: Collective quantum effects in ultracold atomic gases

Speaker: Lindsay Leblanc,  University of Alberta

Time: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Date: 19 November 2015

Location: SB 148, University of Calgary

Abstract: Ultracold quantum gases offer an unprecedented opportunity for exploring the behaviour of many-body systems using precise control over the atoms’ temperature, interactions, potential energy landscapes, and internal quantum degrees of freedom. In our quantum simulation experiments, we use ultracold gases of rubidium and potassium atoms to study analogies to condensed matter phenomena. One particular interest in these experiments is to combine laser techniques that mimic “spin-orbit coupling” with techniques that tune the interparticle interactions. Here, it is predicted that competition between magnetic-like and superfluid-like many-body orders should exist; we plan to explore the nature of this many-body collectivity and its dynamics. In a second set of experiments, we are developing hybridized ultracold quantum gases with nanoscale optical and mechanical devices to exploit the best features of each — long coherence times of atoms, and integrability of solid state devices with conventional computational architectures. Our first experiments will hybridize, via the magnetic field interaction, nanomagnetic mechanical oscillators to rubidium atoms. By understanding the oscillator’s effect on the atoms, and the atoms’ effect on the oscillator, we are working towards transferring quantum coherence between systems. Through all of these experiments, a overarching question pervades: how do many-particle systems exhibit quantum effects, and how can we exploit these phenomena on ever large scales?

Event: Department of Physics Colloquium

Speaker: Wolfgang Tittel, University of Calgary

Time: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Date: 6 November 2015

Location: CCIS L1-160, University of Alberta

Abstract: Rare-earth-doped crystals for quantum networks: from hard disks to single photon detectors”. Future quantum networks will allow the secure distribution of encryption keys over extended distances, blind quantum computing, and networked quantum computers and atomic clocks. I will discuss our experimental work on two key ingredients of such networks: a solid-state storage device for quantum states of light, and a detector that promises detecting the presence of photons without destroying them. Both devices employ a Thulium-doped LiNbO3 crystal cooled to a temperature of around 1K.