Quantum mechanics famously allows objects to be in two places at the same time. The same principle can be applied to information, represented by bits: quantum bits can be both zero and one at the same time. The field of quantum information science seeks to engineer real-world devices that can store and process quantum states of information. It is believed that computers operating according to such principles will be capable of solving problems exponentially faster than existing computers, while quantum networks have provable security guarantees. The same concepts can be applied to making more precise sensors and measurement devices. Constructing such systems is a significant challenge, because quantum effects are typically confined to the atomic scale. However, through careful engineering, several physical platforms have been identified for quantum computing, including superconducting circuits, laser-cooled atoms and ions and electron spins in semiconductors.
Research at Princeton focuses on several aspects of this problem, ranging from fundamental studies of materials and devices to quantum computer architecture and algorithms. Our research groups have close-knit collaborations across several departments — including chemistry, computer science and physics — and with industry.