Aaron D. O'Connell

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Aaron D. O'Connell
Aaron OConnell.jpg
Born Aaron Douglas O'Connell
(1981-03-05) March 5, 1981 (age 37)
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Residence San Francisco, California
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Education University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D., 2010)
Eckerd College (B.S., 2005)
Alma mater University of California, Santa Barbara
Eckerd College
Known for Creator of the first quantum machine

Aaron Douglas O'Connell (born March 5, 1981, in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American experimental quantum physicist. While working under Andrew N. Cleland and John M. Martinis at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he created the world's first quantum machine.[1] In particular, he was able to transfer the quantum state of a superconducting quantum bit, a device used in quantum computation, to the motional state of a macroscopic mechanical resonator.[2][3] His measurements of the quantum machine constitute the first direct observations of quantized behavior in the motion of a visible object[4][5] and led the journal Science to honor his work as the "Breakthrough of the Year" of 2010.[1]

O'Connell spoke on the subject at TED2011 in Long Beach, California.[6]

Academic career[edit]

O'Connell received his bachelor's degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2005, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010.


  1. ^ a b Cho, Adrian (2010-12-17). "Breakthrough of the Year: The First Quantum Machine". Science. 330 (6011): 1604. Bibcode:2010Sci...330.1604C. doi:10.1126/science.330.6011.1604. PMID 21163978. 
  2. ^ o’Connell, A. D.; Hofheinz, M.; Ansmann, M.; Bialczak, R. C.; Lenander, M.; Lucero, E.; Neeley, M.; Sank, D.; Wang, H.; Weides, M.; Wenner, J.; Martinis, J. M.; Cleland, A. N. (2010). "Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator". Nature. 464 (7289): 697–703. Bibcode:2010Natur.464..697O. doi:10.1038/nature08967. PMID 20237473. 
  3. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide (2012-03-18). "Macro-Weirdness: "Quantum Microphone" Puts Naked-Eye Object in 2 Places at Once". Scientific American. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  4. ^ Aspelmeyer, Markus (2010-04-01). "Quantum mechanics: The surf is up". Nature. 464 (7289): 685–686. Bibcode:2010Natur.464..685A. doi:10.1038/464685a. PMID 20360725. 
  5. ^ Rodgers, Peter (2010-04-01). "Nanomechanics: Welcome to the quantum ground state". Nature Nanotechnology. 5 (4): 245. Bibcode:2010NatNa...5..245R. doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.70. 
  6. ^ "Aaron O'Connell: Making sense of a visible quantum object". 

External links[edit]