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Conversations on the Quantum World: Building a Quantum Computer

Friday, April 14, 2023
11:00am to 11:45am
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  • Public Event

Quantum computers of the future promise to crack some of the hardest problems in computer science, physics, materials science, and more, but how close are scientists to building a working quantum computer? And what exactly will these machines be able to do?

"Quantum computers are a completely new paradigm of computing, but it is not true that they can be used to speed-up any problem," says Fernando Brandão, Caltech's Bren Professor of Theoretical Physics. In conversation with science writer Whitney Clavin, Brandão, who is also director of quantum applications for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Center for Quantum Computing at Caltech, will examine the hype around quantum computing and give an update on the field. Register to learn about different approaches to building quantum computers, the challenges scientists and engineers are grappling with today, and why this is an exciting time to be a quantum physicist.


This is a free event, but registration is required. The first 500 attendees can join the Zoom webinar. Others will be provided with a YouTube link.

About the Participants

Fernando Brandão
Bren Professor of Theoretical Physics
Fernando Brandao is a theoretical physicist and director of quantum applications at Amazon Web Services. He has contributed to multiple areas of quantum information and computation, including entanglement theory, quantum algorithms, and quantum error correction. Brandão was awarded the 2020 Landauer and Bennett Award in Quantum Computing from the American Physical Society. He earned his PhD from Imperial College London and held positions at Imperial College, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, ETH Zürich, University College London, and Microsoft before joining Caltech in 2016.

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.