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Conversations on the Quantum World: Why We Want Quantum Computers

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
11:00am to 11:45am
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  • Public Event

Quantum science emerged from studies of the smallest objects in nature. Today, it promises to deepen our understanding of the universe and deliver groundbreaking technology, from quantum computers to ultra-precise measuring devices to next-generation materials, with many of these advances happening at Caltech. In Conversations on the Quantum World, you will hear directly from Caltech experts about the next quantum revolution and have the opportunity to ask your own questions.

In the first conversation in this series, theoretical physicist John Preskill, in conversation with science writer Whitney Clavin, will discuss the intense interest surrounding quantum computers and accelerated efforts to build them. Preskill, director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech, will explore the limits of current classical computers, the unpredictability of future quantum computing applications, and the history of quantum computing that leads back to Richard Feynman at Caltech.


This is a free event, but registration is required. The first 1,000 attendees can join the Zoom webinar. Others will be provided with a YouTube link.

About the Participants

John PreskillRichard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics; Allen V. C. and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, Institute for Quantum Information and MatterJohn Preskill first focused on cosmology and particle physics but became fascinated by quantum information science in the 1990s. Since then, he has studied quantum computers, including how to build them, what to use them for, and in particular, how they may help reveal fundamentals of nature such as the properties of black holes and the structure of space-time. A National Academy of Sciences member, Preskill co-founded the field-defining organization that became the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech and has mentored more than 60 graduate students and 60 postdoctoral scholars.Whitney Clavin
Senior Content and Media Strategist, Caltech's Office of Strategic Communications
Whitney Clavin is a science writer and communications specialist at Caltech, where she primarily covers the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy. She has worked in the field of astronomy for nearly 20 years. Before joining Caltech, Clavin served as a press officer and science writer at JPL for 13 years. She helped orchestrate several of LIGO's big announcements, including the observatory's first direct detection of gravitational waves. She has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from UC Davis, and a master's degree in science journalism from NYU. Her hobbies include reading and watching science fiction, and dancing on roller skates.

This series is presented by the Caltech Science Exchange, which brings expert insight to the scientific questions that define our time. The Science Exchange offers trustworthy answers, clear explanations, and fact-driven conversation on critical topics in science and technology.