Deutsch Annual Research Lecturer 2014
Ivan Deutsch, a professor and Regents Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected as the University of New Mexico’s 59th Annual Research Lecturer, one of the highest honors that the UNM bestows on faculty. Photo credit: Steve Carr

For years, Ivan Deutsch has toiled in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico trying to crack the code. His research, along with his colleagues at the Center for Quantum Information and Control, or CQuIC, is focused on quantum information and control theory, designed to harness those strange properties in quantum physics.

His work over the decades hasn’t gone unnoticed. Deutsch, a professor and Regents Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected as the University of New Mexico’s 59th Annual Research Lecturer, one of the highest honors that the UNM bestows on faculty. The selection is made by the UNM Research Policy Committee and through nominations from peers across the United States and abroad.

As part of the ARL honor, Deutsch will present a lecture, “Breaking Heisenberg: Controlling the Quantum World,” on Monday, April 28 in the Centennial Engineering Center Auditorium, room 1041 at 6:30 p.m. A reception will be held prior to the lecture at 5:30 p.m. in the Stamm Commons Room (room 1044) in the Centennial Engineering Center. 

The question Deutsch looks to answer in his lecture is: how we can control individual atoms and photons to make them do what we want versus what nature usually prescribes?

“Obviously, I’m thrilled to be honored,” Deutsch said. “It’s been years of hard work and collaborations. My research is very integrated with graduate education. What we do is an integral process of teaching the next generation scientists. Students are very involved in all we do – academics and research. Teaching and research at the graduate level should not be thought of as two separate endeavors. They are one and the same.”

The research Deutsch conducts is part of UNM’s Center for Quantum Information and Control, or CQuIC, which was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Physics at the Information Frontier (PIF) program with a $1 million effort in 2008 and with additional internal funding by UNM. Research at CQuIC is focused on quantum information, quantum control, quantum metrology, and quantum optics. At UNM, theoretical research encompasses topics in all these areas.

“The research I conduct is part of CQuIC. The work we do strives to understand how we can harness the strange properties of the microscopic world, described by quantum physics, and bring them into our macroscopic world so we can apply them to next generation of revolutionary information-processing devices like quantum computers and quantum communication networks,” Deutsch said. “We’ve made progress developing theoretical models and translating them into laboratory experiments based on lasers and atomic physics.  These experiments act as a testbed for understanding and developing new generations of radically different devices.”

CQuIC is growing and is an important activity at UNM with strong collaborations involving the national labs, including Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs.

“My research is part of a bigger community working to make New Mexico the hub for quantum information and science technology in the United States,” Deutsch said.