Colorado School of Mines, Physics Department
Abstract: Quantum physics was invented in the 1920s and has continued developing for over a century to create vital technologies we all use every day, such as lasers and magnetic resonance imaging. Quantum physics is presently undergoing a fusion with current information technology to invent new modes of sensing and measurement such as GPS-independent navigation; new secure forms of communication including the structure of the future internet; and new concepts in computing with the potential for extreme speed-up on key computing tasks ranging from all-pervasive encryption protocols to radical new forms of quantum matter. We call this fusion Quantum Information Science (QIS). In this talk, I will first give simple explanations of what QIS is, how it works, and what present and near-future technologies it is generating. Then I will review the six pillars of the US National Quantum Initiative with a special focus on the sixth pillar, international cooperation. How can we use these powerful technologies, some of them with the potential to do great good or great harm, to enhance human well-being and create positive international relationships? How does QIS fit into the bigger picture of critical and emerging technologies? What lessons might we learn from building international cooperation in QIS that can be applied toward creating a positive playing field for science and technology writ large? How do we balance, on the one hand, open science, support for the international scientific community, and research integrity; with, on the other hand, dual-use and research security concerns? At the end of this talk I will discuss opportunities for Mines students to engage in science diplomacy.
Bio: Lincoln D. Carr received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is an IEEE Senior Member, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Kavli Fellow and a Jefferson Science Fellow of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and a National Science Foundation Distinguished International Fellow. He is an Honors Faculty Fellow and Payne Institute for Public Policy Fellow at the Colorado School of Mines, where he is a Professor in the Quantum Engineering Program and the Physics Department, and a Graduate Faculty Advisor in the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department. His research brings together complexity theory, quantum information science and engineering, education, condensed-matter physics, atomic, molecular, and optical physics, nonlinear dynamics, computational physics, and applied mathematics, pushing the frontiers of complexity theory in the quantum world. To date, he has mentored over 100 students in research, received over $10 million in grant funding and fellowships, and published over 150 articles and books with over 15,000 citations. He has taught for over 25 years in both the sciences and the humanities on topics ranging from quantum physics to poetry and philosophy.
In September 2022, Dr. Carr completed one year of service as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation (STC) in the US State Department. The mission of the STC is to promote and protect American scientific leadership and use science, technology, and innovation to advance American foreign policy interests. In this role, he worked on three cross-departmental and interagency global international portfolios: quantum information science and technology; critical and emerging technologies; and research security and integrity. He also worked regionally to support science and technology cooperation for the South and Central Asia region.