Research on precise control of coherent quantum systems occurs in many laboratories throughout the world, for fundamental research, new measurement techniques, and more recently for the development of quantum computers. I will briefly describe experiments on these topics using trapped ions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) but these just serve as examples of similar work being performed with many other atomic, molecular, optical (AMO) and condensed matter systems. This talk is, in part, the “story” of my involvement in these subjects which began when I entered graduate school.
David Wineland received a BA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965 and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1970. He has been a member of the Time and Frequency Division of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in Boulder, Colorado since 1975, where he is a group leader and NIST Fellow. Starting with graduate school, a long-term goal of his work has been to increase the precision of atomic spectroscopy. This research has applications to making better atomic clocks and has led to experiments showing precise control of the energy levels and motion of atoms. Such control is now being applied to measurements whose precision is limited only by the constraints of quantum mechanics and to demonstrations of the basic building blocks of a quantum computer.