Christopher Monroe

Duke University

Primary Section: 13, Physics
Secondary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Membership Type: Member (elected 2016)


Christopher Monroe graduated from MIT in 1987 and studied with Carl Wieman and Eric Cornell at the University of Colorado, earning his PhD in Physics in 1992. His work paved the way toward the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in 1995. From 1992-2000 he was a postdoc then staff physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in the group of David Wineland, leading the team that demonstrated the first quantum logic gate. In 2000, Monroe became Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he pioneered the use of single photons to couple isolated atoms and demonstrated the first electromagnetic atom trap integrated on a semiconductor chip. From 2006-2007 was the Director of the National Science Foundation Ultrafast Optics Center at the University of Michigan. In 2007 he became the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute. His Maryland team teleported quantum information between matter separated by a large distance, pioneered the use of ultrafast optical techniques for atomic qubits and for quantum simulations of magnetism. In 2015, Monroe was named Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland.

Research Interests

I am an experimental physicist in the areas of quantum information science and atomic, molecular, and optical physics. My research interests include:
(1) Quantum Information Hardware. The design and realization of entangling quantum logic gates using atomic memories and photons, and the scaling to much larger numbers of atomic quantum bits with advanced microfabricated atom trap array and photonic structures.
(2) Cold Atoms and Quantum Simulations of Condensed Matter. The use of electromagnetic forces and laser radiation to prepare, quantum states of atoms and photons in order to generate controllable interactions and quantum entanglement for studies of quantum many-body systems.
(3) Ultrafast Control of Cold Atoms. I am actively pursuing the use of ultrafast (~10-12 s) optical techniques for the manipulation and control of cold atomic systems and the generation of multi-atom entangled quantum states. Ultrafast control eliminates sensitivity to slower decoherence processes, and represents a new regime of ultracold atomic physics.
(4) Education and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Interest in the general phenomenon of quantum measurement and quantum entanglement used for quantum metrology and the border between quantum and classical physics. Conveying quantum tenets to nonscientists, with heavy reliance on analogies from the visual and musical arts.

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