Fear the (Quantum) Turtle

The Pontiff beat me to it, but my Ph.D. alma mater has scored a $12.5 million grant from the NSF to fund the Joint Quantum Institute as a Physics Frontier Center for the development of quantum technology:

The Physics Frontier Center (PFC) award, effective September 1, will fund 17 graduate students, seven postdoctoral scientists and seven undergraduates as well as an extensive and highly cross-disciplinary research program under the general title Processing Quantum Coherence. Ultimately the work may lead to development of a computer that exploits the strange phenomena of quantum mechanics to do certain tasks, such as huge database searches and unbreakable data encryption, exponentially faster than even the best conventional computers.

This is great news, not just because it involves a lot of people I used to work with. OK, it’s mostly because it involves a lot of people I used to work with, but they happen to be outstanding scientists doing amazing work at NIST and at UMD, and it’s great to see them recognized. And the stuff they’re doing is every bit as cool as anything happening at CERN, and cheaper, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Gill
    September 19, 2008

    Every time I see the “fear the turtle” expression I chuckle. My wife was working at a museum, taking care of various animals. Someone left her a little red-eared slider about the size of a quarter. I printed her out one of UM’s “fear the turtle” graphics and taped it on his aquarium cart. Great conversation piece.

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