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Physics professor wins Guggenheim Fellowship

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Dale J. Van Harlingen, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois and a researcher at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, has won a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Van Harlingen will use his fellowship to explore phase coherence and dynamics in superconducting circuits – and their implications for quantum computation – in a sabbatical at the University of California at Berkeley next year.

Quantum computing is one of the newest and most exciting areas in physics. This field has attracted considerable attention because of its potential to reduce dramatically the time for complex calculations essential for cryptography, meteorology and the dynamical simulation of complex systems.

Although practical implementation of quantum computing is likely many years away, there is intense interest in designing and implementing technologies for qubits, the basic building blocks of a quantum computer, and assessing their performance.

At Berkeley, Van Harlingen will fabricate and test electronic circuits based on the phase coherence in superconducting circuits that can serve as elements in a quantum computer architecture. His research plan involves the design and fabrication of superconductor electronic devices and measurements of their Josephson tunneling properties, superconducting phase dynamics and decoherence times.

The Guggenheim Foundation of New York awarded more than $6 million to 183 scholars, artists and scientists this year. The foundation trustees selected the winners from over 2,700 applicants. Past Guggenheim fellows include Ansel Adams, Aaron Copland, Henry Kissinger and Linus Pauling.