James L. Carmon Scholarship Award 2007
Emily Pritchett, a doctoral candidate in physics and astronomy, is working on the physical implementation of a functional quantum computer. In her first year of graduate school, Pritchett completed a research project using a nanomechanical resonator as a quantum memory element, a basic ingredient for a quantum computer. The project led to a published paper on which she is first author. In a second project, Pritchett devised a highly original and clever way of measuring the quantum friction coefficient, a protocol that experimental collaborators plan to use as soon as possible. This was an unsolved problem in the nanoelectromechanical systems and quantum computing communities. Pritchett’s simulations required not only a deep understanding of quantum mechanics but also a creative and innovative approach that emphasize ingenuity over scale.