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Paola Cappellaro wins AFOSR Young Investigator Award

Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering assistant professor is investigating a bottom-up approach to quantum information devices.
Assistant Professor Paola Cappellaro
Assistant Professor Paola Cappellaro
Photo courtesy of the Research Laboratory of Electronics

Controlling and manipulating nature at the quantum level is one of the greatest challenges in both theoretical and experimental physics. The most prominent application is quantum information processing, which promises to enable calculations and tasks of a complexity unattainable by systems behaving classically. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Paola Cappellaro has been awarded an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) grant to investigate a bottom-up approach to quantum information devices that aims at overcoming current challenges to scalability.

The project will integrate theoretical and experimental components, using the Nitrogen Vacancy center in diamond as a model system and exploring larger spin systems with magnetic resonance techniques.

Cappellaro is one of 48 scientists to be awarded a grant through the AFSOR Young Investigator Research Program. The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

In addition, Cappellaro and Dr. Gurneet Kaur, a postdoctoral associate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, have been awarded a MISTI Global Seed Fund grant to begin a collaborative project with researchers at Shinshu University (Japan). The collaboration will allow the team to work with uniquely grown monocrystalline apatite crystals that emulate a collection of one-dimensional quantum wires and hence provide a unique system to test quantum transport protocols.

Together, the two projects will provide a path toward a scalable quantum computation system, while developing quantum control techniques that will have broader applications in areas such as quantum simulation and precision metrology.

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