Sommerfeld Theory Colloquium: Quantum Computing and Quantum Simulations with Quantum Optical Systems
Peter Zoller has written major works on the interaction of laser light and atoms. In addition to fundamental developments in quantum optics he has succeeded in bridging quantum information and solid state physics. The model of a quantum computer, suggested by him and Ignacio Cirac in 1995, is based on the interaction of lasers with cold ions confined in an electromagnetic trap. The principles of this idea have been implemented in experiments over recent years and it is considered one of the most promising concepts for the development of a scalable quantum computer. One of his suggestions has been to build a quantum simulator with cold atoms and use it to research hitherto unexplained phenomena in high temperature superconductors.
Peter Zoller obtained his doctorate in 1977 at the University of Innsbruck where he also holds a chair since 1994, but many guest professorships have taken him to numerous centres of physics throughout the world. He was Loeb lecturer in Harvard, Boston, MA (2004), Yan Jici chair professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, Heifei, and chair professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing (2004), as well as Lorentz professor at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands (2005). Since 2003, Peter Zoller has also held the position of Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Peter Zoller has received numerous awards, most notably the Dirac Medal (2006) and the Max Planck Medal (2005).