In our latest episode, we are thrilled to talk to David DiVincenzo, Director of the Institute of Theoretical Nanoelectronics at Forschungszentrum Jülich & co-founder of the Institute for Quantum Information which is a joint institute of RWTH Aachen and the Forschungszentrum. We start by listening to David’s take on different aspects of the fast developments in the field of quantum computing. Then, we take a deep dive into the mid eighties and early ninties and discuss how David started working on quantum computing before Shor’s algorithm and quantum error correction were discovered. Naturally then, him and his collaborators at IBM were ready to contribute to the developing field. We touch upon the DiVincenzo criteria and the Loss-DiVincenzo quantum dot proposal and get to know some of the mentors David was lucky to have had.

Listen here to the full podcast episode with David or using your podcatcher.

00:00:00     Intro

00:02:00     Quick questions

  • Is building a quantum computer predominantly a science or an engineering effort?
  • Name a quantum computing platform you’ve never worked on before!
  • Conceptual or technical papers?
  • How much mathematical background do you need?
  • Which quantum computer platform do you find most exciting right now?
  • Do you believe that solid state platforms will prevail on others?
  • Will their be a commercially viable application for NISQ devices?
  • Is it better to sell quantum computers or quantum computer access in a cloud?
  • Did you have important mentors in your career and how did they influence you?
  • Name one thing that you like about being a university professor and one about working in a large corporation like IBM!

00:25:43     David’s – hybrid – degree and research path

00:28:30     Transition to quantum mechanics inspired by Charles Bennet

00:31:39     PhD with Eugene Mele

00:35:00     Postdoc at Cornell University with a growing attachment to IBM

00:36:15     Joining IBM in 1985 and connecting with foundational computing and low-temprature device research (working with David Awschalom)

00:42:10     1993: turning point at IBM and first work on quantum computers

00:48:44     1993 – 1995: a fascinating time in the history of quantum computing

00:52:57     The DiVincenzo criteria

01:04:17     The Loss-DiVincenzo quantum computer proposal

Further links to topics that are mentioned during Chris’ and David’s conversation:

While recording, Alex Jahn – who is not only a talented web designer and a great podcast editor but obviously a gifted illustrator – made this drawing of the one and a half hour talk between Chris and David:



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