Lecture Series at IIT Delhi

Seminar on Quantum Computing


   Testing Quantum Devices and Quantum Mechanics


   Prof Umesh Vazirani, EECS, UC Berkeley


   Room 501, Bharti Building


   Aug 26th 4:00PM


The tremendous recent progress in the physical realization of devices based on the principles of quantum mechanics also throws up a fundamental challenge: how to test quantum devices, which are by nature imperfect and susceptible to uncontrollable faults. The classical verifier of such a device is necessarily at a disadvantage due to the exponential power of quantum systems, but nevertheless, an exciting sequence of results show that uniquely quantum features such as entanglement (Einstein's "spooky action at a distance") can be leveraged to make such testing possible. I will describe how such testing can thwart a malicious adversary in quantum cryptographic settings such as quantum key distribution and certifying quantum random numbers. More sophisticated such schemes can be used to verify that a quantum computer is truly quantum. At a conceptual level, such tests of quantum devices are really tests of quantum mechanics, that go well beyond the famous Bell tests that disproved Einstein's objections to quantum mechanics.

I will also describe a more pragmatic but principled approach to the testing of large scale quantum annealers - by performing a quantum Turing test comparing the quantum annealer to a suitable classical benchmark. I will discuss the results of applying such a test to the D-Wave 108 qubit quantum annealer, as well as the ~1000 qubit D-Wave 2X quantum annealer.

The talk will be accessible to broad audience of computer scientists,physicists and mathematicians.

Speaker Bio:

Umesh Vazirani is the Rogrer A. Strauch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center. He is one of the founders of the field of quantum computation, a recipient of the Fulkerson Prize in discrete math awarded by the American Mathematical Association, and author of the books “An Introduction to Computational Learning Theory'' with Michael Kearns, and "Algorithms" with Sanjoy Dasgupta and Christos Papadimitriou.

Talk on gravitational wave detection using LIGO by Prof. Rana Adhikari (Caltech)

Date and Time:  

24th August 2016 (Wednesday), 05:00 PM


LH 111 (Lecture Hall Complex), ground floor, IIT Delhi


LIGO: A Laser Strainmeter for the Universe


After 50 years, the LIGO project has detected the gravitational radiation from the merger of astrophysical black holes. With an improvement of 1-2 orders of magnitude in the noise, these devices would be able to sense the fluctuations in space-time from all black holes within the observable universe. There are two chief obstacles in this path: quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics: The quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field of empty space limit the ability to measure optical phase. The Fluctuation-Dissipation theorem dictates the amount of thermal fluctuation of the measurement device. Recent discoveries in the study of thin-film amorphous oxides indicates that one of these fundamental physics limits may be possible to overcome. Combined with the new Quantum Rao-Cramer bound for opto-mechanics, the potential of the new LIGO-India detector could reach back to the time of the first stars.

About the Speaker:

Prof. Rana Adhikari is currently working as a Professor of Physics at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA. He has been working towards the detection of gravitational waves for nearly 20 years, in which their LIGO team finally succeeded last year. He is a well know expert in this area and is now an active pioneer towards various activities related to LIGO-India, a new gravitational wave detector, which has already received in-principle approval by Government of India and is in the process of being set up in India. More details about Prof. Rana and his research interests can be found in the following link:


A news article detailing the conversation with Prof. Rana about their quest for gravitational waves before their detection (2013) can be found in the following link:


Note: During this talk, Prof. Rana Adhikari would also discuss the galore possibilities for students in higher education, PhD and Postdoc in LIGO related areas such as optics, material science, control systems, quantum physics, Astronomy, gravitational waves etc. and in multidisciplinary areas. Students are encouraged to attend this talk.

Foundation Day Lecture by Sonam Wangchuk

Foundation Day Lecture 2016 Turning Problems into Opportunity
Sonam Wangchuk
Teacher,Guide and Innovation Advisor
SECMOL Alternative School Campus, Phey, Ladakh
5:00 PM, Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Seminar Hall, IIT Delhi

Sonam Wangchuk, a mechanical engineer turned education reformer from Ladakh will share his thoughts and life story about turning problems into opportunities and innovating using the simplest principles of science and technology to help fellow human beings and to heal the mother earth.

Sonam Wangchuk was born in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh in India. Though a Mechanical Engineer by education, he has been mostly working in the field of education reform for more than 27 years. In 1988, just after he finished his engineering studies he founded SECMOL (Students’Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh; www.secmol.org), which aims to bring reforms in the government school system in Ladakh. In 1994 he was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope, a triangular collaboration of the government, village communities and the civil society to bring reforms in the government schools system. The programmed involved formation of Village Education Committees to take ownership of state schools, training of teachers in child friendly ways and re-writing and publishing localised text books for Ladakh. As a result the pass percentage at 10th grade (matriculation) rose from the dismal 5% to 55% in seven years and 75% these days. For students who still failed in their state exams he founded the SECMOL Alternative School Campus near Leh, a special school where the admission criteria is failure in exams and not grades. However with the supportive and creative environment at the school, the so called failures have excelled in their chosen fields and risen to international acclaim as entrepreneurs, film makers, politicians, teachers and so on.

As an engineer Sonam Wangchuk has been teaching innovation at the SECMOL Alternative School, where together with the students he designed and built solar heated buildings that are low cost, made of earth/mud but maintain +15 C even when the outside temperature is -25 C in Ladakhi winters.

In order to solve the water crisis facing mountain regions due to climate change and fast melting glaciers he invented the Ice Stupa artificial glacier which stores the wasting stream waters in winter in the form of giant ice cones or stupas and release the water in late spring as they melt... just when farmers need water.

Sonam Wangchuk was granted several awards and titles, such as UNESCO Chair for Earthen Architecture for India 2014, Game Changers Award by Human Resource Club 2014,: ‘Real Heroes’ Award by CNN IBN Channel in 2008, ‘Green Teacher’ Award by Sanctuary Asia Magazine in 2005, Ashoka Fellowship by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in 2002, ‘Man of the Year’ by The Week magazine in India in 2001 and the Governors Medal by the J&K State Government in 1996.