“It’s unusual and exciting to build bridges between physics and engineering,” says Prof. Maiken Mikkelsen, who will be doing just that in her new position as assistant professor in the departments of physics and electrical and computer engineering. “I’ll be able to supervise students from both departments and create a very interdisciplinary group. I’m excited about it,” she says.
In addition to building bridges between disciplines, she’s also helping to “build” the computer of the future—a quantum computer. Quantum mechanics describes how matter and energy interact on an atomic scale, where the familiar laws of classical mechanics do not apply. “As electronics get smaller and smaller, at some point the quantum mechanics are starting to become important,” she says. “Let’s not look at quantum effects as annoyances, but build something from the ground up that is based on quantum mechanics—to use it as an advantage.” (more…)