6-20-17 Interview

Professor Samuel Bentley explains USGS seabed maps provided in his office on June 20, 2017. Bentley had the chance to represent LSU at the White House to discuss the National Quantum Initiative. 

Quantum information science applies the principles of quantum physics- the physics of atoms and subatomic particles- to real-world situations in communication, computing and sensing.

According to IBM, it holds the potential to create scientific breakthroughs, life-saving medications, financial strategies to retire early and even algorithms to find the fastest route to work.

Technology companies and universities across the country are working diligently to advance the field, and the White House now recognizes LSU as a frontrunner in this research.

LSU ventured to the White House Friday with 20 other government and academic leaders to discuss Quantum Information Science’s role in the environment and the National Quantum Initiative. LSU received special invitation from President Trump’s Deputy Assistant for Technology Policy Michael Kratsios.

“[The academic community] is a critical driver of our Nation’s innovation ecosystem,” said Kratsios, “from developing the fundamental science to building the skilled workforce needed to see ideas from an initial concept to deployment.”

The group discussed new opportunities, challenges and strategies of the National Quantum Initiative.

Trump passed the National Quantum Initiative last December, which allocates over $1.2 billion over the next 5 years to establish a Quantum Information Science subcommittee within the National Science and Technology Council, an advisory committee of field professionals and a National Quantum Coordination Office.

The initiative creates a multiagency program, joining the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and many other government agencies and Universities.

national quantum initiative

The National Quantum Initiative Act passed on Dec. 13, 2018. and signed into law on Dec. 21, 2018. The law gives the U.S. a plan for advancing quantum technology, particularly quantum computing. 

LSU Vice President of Research and Economic Development Samuel J. Bentley represented the University at the White House’s Meeting.

“LSU has leading experts in the field of developing unique and new materials for what will be the next generation of quantum computers,” Bentley said. “At LSU, we can leverage our expertise in quantum materials and theory and work with our partner universities in Louisiana with expertise in design and fabrication to build quantum devices.”

The University is a land-grant and R1 research institution focusing much of their research on quantum computing.

Physics and astronomy professor Gabriela González worked with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, in Livingston when the first gravitational waves were detected. González is now editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Another physics and astronomy professor, Thomas Corbitt, had a paper published in Nature for being the first to measure quantum behavior at room temperature in the basement of Nicholson Hall.

“Through our focus on quantum science and engineering, we can serve the people of Louisiana and beyond by building the economy and providing technological solutions that can make the world a better and safer place,” Bentley said.

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