Ph.D., 2008 - University of Southern California
Louisiana State University
Department of Physics & Astronomy
447 Nicholson Hall, Tower Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001
What are the ultimate limits that nature imposes on communication and computation and what are effective procedures for achieving these limits? These are the questions that drive my research, and in order to answer them convincingly, we must reassess the theories of information and computation under a "quantum lens." That is, since quantum mechanics represents our best understanding of microscopic physical phenomena and since information is ultimately encoded into a physical system of some form, it is necessary for us to revise the laws of information and computation established many years ago by intellectual giants such as Shannon and Turing. This is not merely an academic exercise, but instead represents one of the most exciting new frontiers for physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Entanglement, superposition, and interference are all aspects of quantum theory that were once regarded as strange and in some cases, nuisances. However, nowadays, we understand these phenomena to be features that are the enabling fuel for a new quantum theory of information and computation, in which seemingly magical possibilities such as teleportation are becoming reality. Several notable examples are computational speedups in quantum computing, increased communication capacities of noisy communication channels, secure encryption based on physical principles, and enhanced precision in measurements. Concepts developed in the context of quantum information theory are now influencing other areas of physics as well, such as quantum gravity, condensed matter, and thermodynamics. Furthermore, quantum information theory has given us a greater understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics and might eventually lead to a simpler set of postulates for quantum mechanics.