CQE Student Feature

Quanta Group: Kyle DeBry

Research group name: Quanta Research Advisors: Dr. Isaac Chuang, MIT Professor of EECS and Physics; Principal Investigator, MIT RLE Quanta Group; Member of the MIT Center for Quantum Engineering. Dr. John Chiaverini, Senior Technical Staff and Principal Investigator, Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems Group, Lincoln Laboratory; Member of the MIT Center for Quantum Engineering.

Hometown, Country: Cincinnati, OH, USA

Academic History Prior to coming to MIT: B.S. Engineering Physics, The Ohio State University

What brought you to MIT? I’ve known for a long time that I was excited by quantum computing, and that I wanted to pursue a PhD in it. During the open house, I realized that MIT was an amazing environment with lots of people thinking about this topic, plus there are exciting opportunities for collaboration. The research environment of MIT and Boston, especially in atomic physics with the Center for Ultracold Atoms, is unlike anywhere else. There’s so much exciting research everywhere you look. Plus, I love exploring Boston.

What interests you most about your research? I work on experimental trapped ion quantum computing, and the most exciting part is how many open questions there are to explore, and the potential for collaboration in answering those questions. The field has been growing incredibly rapidly in recent years, but there is still a long way to go before we realize practical quantum computers, and nobody knows what the best approach will be. Maybe it’s superconducting qubits, maybe it’s trapped ions, maybe it’s something else. And even within trapped ions, there are so many different strategies. In our group in particular, we are looking at using a radioactive isotope of barium that has an unusual internal structure, opening up a whole new set of choices for how we store and process the quantum bits contained in the ions. Whatever the eventual dominant technology turns out to be, though, it will surely require a lot of interdisciplinary expertise, which is why the collaborative environment here is so exciting.