Spotlight on new faculty: Wolfgang Pfaff, Quantum Physics

Jessica Raley for Illinois Physics
3/11/2020

Professor Wolfgang Pfaff works in the laboratory of the QuTech/Microsoft collaboration at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
Professor Wolfgang Pfaff works in the laboratory of the QuTech/Microsoft collaboration at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Professor Wolfgang Pfaff

Wolfgang Pfaff is a quantum information physicist who will join the University of Illinois at the end of Fall 2020. His research focuses on developing ways to transfer quantum information between superconducting qubits, as well as trying to understand how quantum information might be communicated by cable in networks of multiple chips. Wolfgang is well aware of the ongoing race to build quantum computers and hopeful about their future potential. However, he is even more excited about the fundamental questions that physicists may be able to answer as a result of developing these machines. He wants to know, “What are the limits of artificial quantum systems?” We don’t yet know how large we can make devices, how many chips could be included in the system, or how much noise they could potentially tolerate. Wolfgang thinks that twenty years from now we may or may not have built a machine that lives up to the hype around quantum computing, but through this research, “we will have learned to what extremes we can push quantum mechanical machines, and that’s what [he is] really excited about.” 

Wolfgang will be seeking graduate and undergraduate students to work in his lab starting at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. Please contact him directly at wpfaff@illinois.edu if you are interested in joining his research group.

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