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Scientific Staff

Barbara Terhal


Room HB 04.070 (EEMCS) and B212b (QuTech)


Management Assistant: Jenny Boks-Zondervan
Quantum Computing Division

During her PhD thesis work Barbara developed the concept of an entanglement witness as opposed to a Bell inequality test for the detection of quantum entanglement. After her PhD thesis she was a postdoc at IBM Research at Yorktown Heights, NY and at Caltech, before returning to IBM as research staff member in 2001. Notable work during her IBM period are the exploration of the computational power of low-depth quantum circuits or stoquastic (sign-free) Hamiltonians, the use of perturbative gadgets for quantum simulation and quantum complexity theory and the development of quantum information procotols such as remote state preparation, quantum locking and quantum data hiding.

She has a long-standing interest and track-record in quantum error correction and fault-tolerance. She views a scalable implementation of quantum error correction as one of the great challenges in physics today. The fact that this challenge can be viewed both as a question of ‘mere engineering’ as well as a question about the fundamental viability of macroscopic quantum information (see e.g. the essay), is precisely what makes it fascinating and thus its resolution ground-breaking.

In 2010 she left IBM to become professor in theoretical physics at RWTH Aachen University, supplemented by a position at FZ Juelich from 2015 until 2022. She has been a fellow of the American Physical Society since 2007 and a distinguished visiting research chair at Perimeter Institute since 2014.

Website Discrete Math & Optimization