About John Preskill

I am a theoretical physicist at Caltech, and the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter. Follow me on Twitter @preskill.
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20 years of qubits: the arXiv data

Editor's Note: The preceding post on Quantum Frontiers inspired the always curious Paul Ginsparg to do some homework on usage of the word "qubit" in papers posted on the arXiv. Rather than paraphrase Paul's observations I will quote his email verbatim, so you can experience its Ginspargian style. fig has total # uses of qubit [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:34-08:00June 11th, 2015|Reflections|1 Comment

Who named the qubit?

Perhaps because my 40th wedding anniversary is just a few weeks away, I have been thinking about anniversaries lately, which reminded me that we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of a number of milestones in quantum information science. In 1995 Cirac and Zoller proposed, and Wineland's group first demonstrated, the ion trap quantum computer. Quantum [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:34-08:00June 9th, 2015|Reflections|15 Comments

Bell’s inequality 50 years later

This is a jubilee year.* In November 1964, John Bell submitted a paper to the obscure (and now defunct) journal Physics. That paper, entitled "On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox," changed how we think about quantum physics. The paper was about quantum entanglement, the characteristic correlations among parts of a quantum system that are profoundly [...]

When I met with Steven Spielberg to talk about Interstellar

Today I had the awesome and eagerly anticipated privilege of attending a screening of the new film Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan. One can't help but be impressed by Nolan's fertile visual imagination. But you should know that Caltech's own Kip Thorne also had a vital role in this project. Indeed, were there no Kip [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:38-08:00November 2nd, 2014|News, The expert's corner|16 Comments

Where are you, Dr. Frank Baxter?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of my first publication. In 1964, when we were eleven-year-old fifth graders, my best friend Mace Rosenstein and I launched The Pres-stein Gazette, a not-for-profit monthly. Though the first issue sold well, the second issue never appeared. Front page of the inaugural issue of the Pres-stein Gazette. Faded [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:39-08:00September 8th, 2014|Reflections|14 Comments

Inflation on the back of an envelope

Last Monday was an exciting day! After following the BICEP2 announcement via Twitter, I had to board a transcontinental flight, so I had 5 uninterrupted hours to think about what it all meant. Without Internet access or references, and having not thought seriously about inflation for decades, I wanted to reconstruct a few scraps of [...]

Fundamental Physics Prize Prediction: Green and Schwarz

Michael Green John Schwarz The big news today is the announcement of the nominees for the 2014 Fundamental Physics Prize: (1) Michael Green and John Schwarz, for pioneering contributions to string theory, (2) Joseph Polchinski, for discovering the central role of D-branes in string theory, and (3) Andrew Strominger and Cumrun [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:49-08:00November 5th, 2013|News|8 Comments