Indianapolis—Yogesh Joglekar, Ph.D., a theoretical physicist and professor in the Department of Physics in the School of Science, has received a three year grant from the Office of Naval Research. Joglekar is working in tandem with Kater Murch, Ph.D., an experimental physicist and professor at Washington University in St. Louis. They’ll split the grant to reach their goal of creating new ways to construct and control quantum systems.
“If you think about things which are really, really small, and by that I mean things on the level of a few atoms or electrons or elementary particles and things like that, and how they behave, well quantum theory explains the nature and behavior of the matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level,“ explained Joglekar.
This research builds off a previous study Joglekar did with Murch’s group, where they created the first parity-time (PT) symmetric quantum system using a superconducting circuit also known as qubit. Such systems are described by complex energies instead of the traditional quantum systems that have purely real energy levels.
“We're trying to build and create quantum objects which are controllable so they're usually artificially created and large enough. Yet they show essential quantum features that you can leverage in a controlled and scalable way,” said Joglekar.
Harnessing the knowledge they have from the aforementioned study, the research team wants to investigate effects of complex energies in single and multiple qubit systems in a bid to demonstrate novel functionalities in quantum information processing that is enabled by complex energies.
“The national quantum initiative is about making controllable, coherent, quantum devices where you can leverage the counterintuitive properties of quantum systems but have them large enough that you can actually manufacture them in a scalable manner. The superconducting qubit is one of those platforms,” explained Joglekar. “You want to be able to manipulate it without disturbing it too much, or carry out coherent manipulation which means you are manipulating it without changing its quantumness.”
What they’ve discovered is that there are some signs that non-Hermitian dynamics with complex energies may lead to faster operations and enhanced sensitivity, and those are things the research team is looking at.
“ You want something that will respond very high with very little stimulus, and these non-Hermitian dynamics indicate that is possible. Right now, in quantum devices it's not clear what it would do. So, we will know whether we can make better quantum sensors,” said Joglekar.
It’s an aspect of quantum systems with complex energies that has not yet been studied.
“We are the first ones to do it and we have to start from the scratch, first figure out the parameter space where we will get a good response, then do a better modeling that is inherently driven by what is observed in the experiments,” stated Joglekar.
The ultimate goal of this project and the many that will follow is to find the quantum systems that will eventually replace the classical systems to solve complex problems in less time.
“It’s great recognition of the fact that research done here at IUPUI, in our physics department, is competitive and warrants funding of these research projects,” said Joglekar.