Christopher Monroe

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Christopher Monroe
Chris Monroe in Lab.jpg
Born (1965-10-19) October 19, 1965 (age 53)
ResidenceMaryland, USA
Alma materMIT
University of Colorado
Known forQuantum Information
Ion Trapping
AwardsI. I. Rabi Prize[1]
International Quantum Communication Award[2]
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers[1]
Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science[3]
Scientific career
Quantum Information Science
Atomic Physics
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan
University of Maryland
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Christopher Roy Monroe (born October 19, 1965) is an American physicist, an experimentalist in the areas of atomic, molecular, and optical physics and quantum information science. He directs one of the leading research efforts in ion traps and quantum optics. Monroe is the Bice Zorn Professor and a Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute.


After receiving his undergraduate degree from MIT in 1987, Monroe joined Carl Wieman's research group at the University of Colorado in the early days of laser cooling and trapping of atoms. With Wieman and postdoctoral researcher Eric Cornell, Monroe contributed to the path for cooling a gas of atoms to the Bose-Einstein condensation phase transition.[4] He obtained his PhD under Wieman in 1992 (Wieman and Cornell succeeded in the quest in 1995, and were awarded the Nobel Prize for this work in 2001).

From 1992-2000, Monroe worked in the Ion Storage Group of David Wineland at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, CO, where he was awarded a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship from 1992-1994, and held a staff position in the same group from 1994-2000. With Wineland, Monroe led the research team that demonstrated the first quantum logic gate in 1995 and for the first time entangled multiple qubits,[5][6][7] and exploited the use of trapped atomic ions for applications in quantum control and the new field of quantum information science (Wineland received the Nobel Prize in 2012 based on this work).

In 2000, Monroe initiated a research group at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he showed how qubit memories could be linked to single photons for quantum networking.[8] There he also demonstrated the first ion trap integrated on a semiconductor chip.[9] With Wineland, Monroe proposed a scalable quantum computer architecture based on shuttling atomic ions through complex ion trap chips.[10] In 2006, Monroe became Director of the FOCUS Center at the University of Michigan, a NSF Physics Frontier Center in the area of ultrafast optical science.

In 2007, Monroe became the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute between the University of Maryland and NIST. There, Monroe's group produced quantum entanglement between two widely separated atoms,[11] and were the first to teleport quantum information between matter separated over distance.[12] They exploited this resource for a number of quantum communication protocols[13] and for a new hybrid memory/photon quantum computer architecture.[14] In recent years, his group pioneered the use of individual atoms as a quantum simulator, or a special purpose quantum computer that can probe complex many-body quantum phenomena such as frustration and magnetic ordering.[15] His laboratory controls and manipulates the largest collection of individual interacting qubits.

In 2015, Monroe co-founded the startup IonQ, Inc., and serves as Chief Scientist. From Aug 2018 - May 2019 he served as CEO. IonQ manufactures full stack quantum computers based on trapped atomic ion technology.

In 2016 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.[16]


  1. ^ a b
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  3. ^
  4. ^ C. Monroe, W. Swann, H. Robinson, and C. Wieman, "Very cold trapped atoms in a vapor cell," Phys. Rev. Lett. 65 1571 (1990)
  5. ^ C. Monroe, D. Meekhof, B. King, W. Itano, and D. Wineland, "Demonstration of a Fundamental Quantum Logic Gate," Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 4714 (1995)
  6. ^ Q. Turchette, C. Wood, C. Myatt, B. King, D. Leibfried, W. Itano, C. Monroe, and D. Wineland, “Deterministic Entanglement of Two Trapped Ions,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 3631 (1998)
  7. ^ C. Sackett, D. Kielpinski, Q. Turchette, V. Meyer, M. Rowe, C. Langer, C. Myatt, B. King, W. Itano, D. Wineland, and C. Monroe, “Experimental Entanglement of Four Particles,” Nature 404, 256 (2000)
  8. ^ B. B. Blinov, D. L. Moehring, L.- M. Duan & C. Monroe, "Observation of entanglement between a single trapped atom and a single photon," Nature 428, 153–157 (2004)
  9. ^ D. Stick, W. K. Hensinger, S. Olmschenk, M. J. Madsen, K. Schwab, and C. Monroe, "Ion Trap in a Semiconductor Chip," Nature Physics 2, 36 (2006)
  10. ^ D. Kielpinski, C. Monroe, and D. J. Wineland, "Architecture for a large-scale ion-trap quantum computer," Nature 417, 709 (2002)
  11. ^ D. L. Moehring, P. Maunz, S. Olmschenk, K. C. Younge, D. N. Matsukevich, L.-M. Duan, and C. Monroe, "Entanglement of single-atom quantum bits at a distance," Nature 449, 68 (2007)
  12. ^ S. Olmschenk, D. N. Matsukevich, P. Maunz, D. Hayes, L.-M. Duan, and C. Monroe, "Quantum Teleportation between Distant Matter Qubits," Science 323, 486 (2009)
  13. ^ S. Pironio, A. Acin, S. Massar, A. Boyer de la Giroday, D. N. Matsukevich, P. Maunz, S. Olmschenk, D. Hayes, L. Luo, T. A. Manning, C. Monroe, “Random Numbers Certified by Bell's Theorem,” Nature 464, 1021 (2010)
  14. ^ C. Monroe, R. Raussendorf, A. Ruthven, K. R. Brown, P. Maunz, L.-M. Duan, J. Kim, "Large Scale Modular Quantum Computer Architecture with Atomic Memory and Photonic Interconnects," ArXiv 1208.1661 (2012)
  15. ^ R. Islam, C. Senko, W. C. Campbell, S. Korenblit, J. Smith, A. Lee, E. E. Edwards, C.-C. J. Wang, J. K. Freericks, and C. Monroe, "Emergence and Frustration of Magnetic Order with Variable-Range Interactions in a Trapped Ion Quantum Simulator," Science 340, 583 (2013)
  16. ^ National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates Elected, News from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2016, retrieved May 14, 2016.

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