Robert Schoelkopf is a physicist known for his work on quantum devices, especially the development of superconducting devices for quantum information processing, which may lead to revolutionary advances in computing. Together with his collaborators at Yale, Professors Michel Devoret and Steve Girvin, their team created the new field of “circuit quantum electrodynamics,” which allows quantum information to be distributed by microwave signals on wires. He was born in New York, received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1986, and a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1994. From 1986 to 1988 he was an electrical/cryogenic engineer in the Laboratory for High-Energy Astrophysics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he developed low-temperature radiation detectors and cryogenic instrumentation for future space missions. Schoelkopf came to Yale in 1995 as a postdoctoral researcher, and joined the faculty in 1998, where he is currently the Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics, and the director of the Yale Quantum Institute. His work has been recognized with several awards, including the Joseph F. Keithley Award of the APS, the John Stewart Bell Prize, the Fritz London Memorial Prize for Low Temperature Physics, and the Max Planck Forschungspreis.

Research Interests

Robert Schoelkopf's laboratory is focused on the development of solid-state quantum bits (qubits) for quantum computing, and the advancement of their performance to practical levels. The group has been an innovator in high-speed measurement techniques at ultra-low temperatures, and invented numerous devices such as the RF single-electron transistor, the shot noise thermometer, and the transmon qubit. Together with collaborators at Yale in the groups of Professors Michel Devoret and Steve Girvin, they have pioneered the new field of "circuit quantum electrodynamics," which allows quantum information to be distributed by microwave signals on wires. The lab has produced many firsts in the field based on these ideas, including the development of a "quantum bus" for information, and the first demonstrations of quantum algorithms and quantum error correction with integrated circuits. When combined with the steady improvement of device performance and coherence, these types of superconducting quantum circuits are becoming a promising route to scalable quantum information processing.

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Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics