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Strasbourg Convention & Exhibition Centre
Strasbourg, France
28 March - 2 April 2020
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Thursday Hot Topics

Advanced physics on display at Thursday plenary session

Rainer Blatt presents at SPIE Photonics Europe 2018

Rainer Blatt presents at SPIE Photonics Europe 2018

The morning plenary session on the final day of SPIE Photonics Europe featured two heavyweights from the physics field giving engaging presentations on ultrafast physics and quantum computing.

Anne L'Huillier of Lund University in Sweden gave the first presentation of the session, From extreme nonlinear optics to ultrafast atomic physics. She first explained the history and concepts of extreme non-linear optics and the development of attosecond sources. She then went on to showcase her work in ultrafast atomic physics and attosecond physics stating, "It's always really nice to report these results to an optics audience, because you really understand what I am showing." The explosion in attosecond sources is fueling her work and, as she explained, they are doing spectral measurement of not only intensity but phase, which is opening lots of possibilities.

The second presentation, by Rainer Blatt from the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and titled, quantum computations and quantum simulations with trapped ions, gave a detailed look at the past and current status of quantum computing and quantum information processing. Going back to Richard Feynman's original predictions for quantum computing, Blatt gave thorough explanations on qubits and the requirements and possibilities for a future quantum computer. Laying out the physics required for quantum information processing, he showcased the work his lab is doing and state-of-the-art results they've achieved. "It's really about keeping the qubit alive during computation," he noted when discussing the aspirations of the work.

Detailed discussions with the audience followed both presentations, with attendees asking questions about future work and the impacts to the larger fields of science. With both researchers working at the cutting edge of physics, it was a great session to close the week at SPIE Photonics Europe and gave a glimpse of what we may see when the event returns to Strasbourg in April 2020.