Postdoc Spotlight: Dr. Pablo Poggi, Premio Juan José Giambiagi

The CQuIC community offers congratulations to Pablo for his recognized achievement for his thesis work and continued contributions to research in quantum information science.

In November 2019, Dr. Pablo Poggi was named the honored recipient of the 2019 Juan José Giambiagi Award for the best Theoretical Thesis by the Physics Association of Argentina to the thesis entitled “Coherent control of quantum systems” carried out by Dr. Poggi under the supervision of the Drs. Diego Wisniacki and Fernando Lombardo.  To publicly celebrate the award, Pablo was to present a lecture at the National Physics Conference in the city of Córdoba in September 2020. 

In his prized thesis, Dr. Poggi’s work focused on an active area of research associated with numerous technological applications such as control of chemical reactions, charge transport in nanostructures, metrology, and quantum information.   The jury stated, “the quality of the results obtained in this Thesis constitute an important contribution to scientific knowledge regarding the control of quantum systems. These results together with the increasing capacity of manipulation of these systems open the doors to numerous technological applications in diverse fields.”  Pablo continues to collaborate with his previous group in topics related to the study of open quantum systems.   

Dr. Poggi credits some of the ideas that contributed to the recent Physical Review Letters publication authored in collaboration with CQuIC research partners at the University of Arizona to work he conducted while developing his thesis (broadly speaking).    

[2020] N. K. Lysne, K. W. Kuper, P. M. Poggi, I. H. Deutsch, and P. S. Jessen, “A small, highly accurate quantum processor for intermediate-depth quantum simulations”Physical Review Letters124, 230501 (2020).

  Dr. Pablo Poggi joined CQuIC in January 2018 after completing his PhD work at the University of Buenos Aires.  Pablo commented about the contribution of his thesis work to his ongoing research, “For me, the thing I’m most grateful about my PhD is that I was given the possibility and freedom to learn about different topics, and I was encouraged by my advisors to do so. It was really thanks to that, that I was able to come to CQuIC and engage with new and diverse projects from the beginning.” 


UNM Membership in IBM Q Hub to Unite Quantum Research at CQuIC with Research Initiatives in Engineering

Under the direction of Michael Devetsikiotis, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), The University of New Mexico recently joined the IBM Q Hub at North Carolina State University as its first university member.

Devetsikiotis’ vision was to create a quantum ecosystem, one that could unite the foundational quantum research in physics at UNM’s Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC) with new quantum computing and engineering initiatives for solving big real-world mathematical problems.

With strategic support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Devetsikiotis secured National Science Foundation funding to support a Quantum Computing & Information Science (QCIS) faculty fellow. The faculty member will join the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the goal to unite well-established quantum research in physics with new quantum education and research initiatives in engineering. This includes membership in CQuIC and implementation of the IBM Q Hub program, as well as a partnership with Los Alamos National Lab for a Quantum Computing Summer School to develop new curricula, educational materials, and mentorship of next-generation quantum computing and information scientists.

This report is an excerpt from the full article on the UNM Newsroom, The University of New Mexico becomes IBM Q Hub’s first university member by Natalie Rogers.

Replacing Nothing is Really Something

CQuIC Founding Director Carlton Caves was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences at the Academy’s annual (in this case, online) meeting on the weekend of April 26-28.  Asked why, Caves replied, “The Academy isn’t very forthcoming about why members are elected, but here’s a guess.  Generally, it’s for a lifetime of contributions to quantum metrology, the science of making good measurements in the face of the uncertainties of quantum mechanics, and, specifically, for an idea I had in 1981 for making interferometers more sensitive.  That idea, implemented in the LIGO and VIRGO interfereometric gravitational-wave detectors a little over a year ago, made them measurably better.”   Asked to describe the idea, Caves said, “It’s much ado about nothing and about how replacing nothing with next to nothing, otherwise known as squeezed vacuum, is really something.”


Prof. Acosta Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Professor Victor Acosta has received an NSF CAREER Award for a project entitled “CAREER: Picoliter Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy with Diamond Quantum Sensors”. His technique uses defects in diamond, known as “Nitrogen-Vacancy centers”, as quantum sensors that can improve NMR spectroscopy. It promises to lead to improvements in measuring the molecular make-up of biological samples with single-cell resolution.

He will also develop a one-week summer or winter school for undergraduates based on the fascinating new area of quantum engineering, with an emphasis on women, minorities, and first-generation students.

Here is a detailed description of the proposal:

With support from the Chemical Measurement and Imaging Program in the Division of Chemistry, and co-funding from the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET), Victor Acosta and his group are developing new measurement tools called “quantum sensors” to identify the molecular composition of samples with spatial resolution compatible with analysis of single cells. A quantum sensor uses a qubit (the logical element of a quantum computer) to detect its local environment.

Specifically, Acosta’s lab uses defects in diamond, called Nitrogen-Vacancy centers, as the qubit sensors. The group is using these sensors to generate and detect nuclear magnetization for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. They seek to develop two different implementations of diamond NMR hardware:

  1. A microfluidic platform suitable for parallel chemical analysis of picoliter analyte volumes and
  2. A hyperspectral NMR microscope for quantifying metabolic composition with single cell resolution

The research is based on the hypothesis that a non-inductive detection modality (diamond quantum sensors) can lead to improvements in sensitivity, spectral resolution, spatial resolution, and microfluidic integration beyond what is currently available in small-volume NMR spectroscopy.

For the educational component of the grant, Acosta is integrating diamond NMR into undergraduate teaching labs and assessing the learning outcomes. He is also designing a curriculum for a one-week summer or winter school in quantum information and sensing that will target undergraduates, with an emphasis on women, under-represented minorities, and first-generation college students. His aim is to attract a diverse student body into the physical sciences and specifically to quantum sensing.

See the NSF Award Abstract