School of Physics – Physics & Startup Seminar - Professor Christopher Monroe (Duke University and formerly IonQ, Inc)

Quantum Computing Meets Wall Street

ABSTRACT: Quantum computers exploit the bizarre features of quantum physics -- uncertainty, entanglement, and measurement -- to perform tasks that are impossible using conventional means. Quantum computing research has historically been led by academic and government groups, but this is changing fast.  This is especially true for technologies such as individual atoms and photons, where the challenges ahead are essentially engineering and not physics.  (That the behemoth companies have chosen quantum technology that nobody knows how to scale may be more driven by hype and fashion than rational thought.)  I will summarize adventures in taking an unconventional technology from the university lab to industry and the associated (mostly sociological) challenges. It remains a great challenge to build a quantum computer big enough to be useful for society, but the good news is that in some technologies we don’t see any fundamental limits ahead, and industry will play a critical role.

BIOGRAPHY: Christopher Monroe is the Gilhuly Family Presidential Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at Duke University. He is also the Co-Founder and former CEO and Chief Scientist of IonQ, Inc., the first pure-play public quantum computing company. Monroe has pioneered nearly all aspects of trapped ion quantum computers and simulators, from demonstrations of the first quantum gate, monolithic semiconductor-chip ion trap, and photonic interconnects between physically separated qubits; to the design, fabrication, and use of full-stack ion trap quantum computer systems in both university and industrial settings. He is a key architect of the US National Quantum Initiative, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, the UK Institute of Physics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Event Details


  • Date: 
    Thursday, April 18, 2024 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Howey N201/N202

For More Information Contact

Professor Daniel Goldman