WINELAND, DAVID J. / Physics / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research




Physicist, group Leader and NIST Fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

Research interests

The Nobel citation notes that Wineland and Haroche’s methods have enabled science to take “the very first steps towards building a new type of super fast computer based on quantum physics. Perhaps the quantum computer will change our everyday lives in this century in the same radical way as the classical computer did in the last century. The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time, with more than hundred-fold greater precision than present-day cesium clocks.”

Wineland has worked at NIST for 37 years and is internationally recognized for his research on trapped ions, which are electrically charged atoms. He conducted landmark experiments on laser cooling, which involves the use of lasers to cool ions to near absolute zero. This led to the development of laser-cooled atomic clocks, the current state-of-the-art clock in time and frequency standards; advances in experimental quantum computing, which use the rules of quantum physics to potentially solve important problems, such as breaking the best data encryption codes, which are intractable using today's technology; and ultraprecise next-generation atomic clocks based on single ions.

Wineland achieved the first demonstration of laser cooling in 1978 and has built on that breakthrough with many experiments that represent the first or best in the world - often both - in using trapped laser-cooled ions to test theories in quantum physics and demonstrate crucial applications. Wineland was the first to successfully demonstrate the building blocks of a practical quantum computer (using the so-called DiVincenzo criteria).

Prizes and awards

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics, with Serge Haroche of the Collège de France and Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems."

Wineland is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has won a host of other awards, including the 2007 National Medal of Science, the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, the Society of Optical and Quantum Electronics' Einstein Medal for Laser Science, the American Physical Society's Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science, the International Award on Quantum Communications, the Optical Society of America's Frederick Ives Award, and the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Senior Executives and Professionals.


L. Lorini, N. Ashby, A. Brusch, S. Diddams, R. Drullinger, E. Eason, T.Fortier, P. Hastings, T. Heavner, D. Hume, W. Itano, S. Jefferts, N. Newbury, T. Parker, T. Rosenband, J. Stalnaker, W. Swann, D. Wineland, and J. Bergquist, "Recent atomic clock comparisons at NIST," Eur. Phys. J. Special Topics 163, 19-35 (2008),

W.M. Itano, T. Rosenband, D.B. Hume, P.O. Schmidt, C.W. Chou, A. Brusch, L. Lorini, W.H. Oskay, R.E. Drullinger, S. Bickman, T.M. Fortier, J.E. Stalnaker, S.A. Diddams, W.C. Swann, N.R. Newbury, D.J. Wineland, and J.C. Bergquist, "Ratio of the Al+ and Hg+ Optical Clock Frequencies to 17 Decimal Places," Proc. International Symposium on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Light of New Technology (World Scientific, in press),

T. Rosenband, D. B. Hume, P. O. Schmidt, C. W. Chou, A. Brusch, L. Lorini, W. H. Oskay, R. E. Drullinger, T. M. Fortier, J. E. Stalnaker, S. A. Diddams, W. C. Swann, N. R. Newbury, W. M. Itano, D. J. Wineland, and J. C. Bergquist, "Frequency ratio of Al+ and Hg+ single-ion optical clocks; Metrology at the 17th decimal place," Science 319, 1808 - 1812 (2008).

T. Rosenband, D. B. Hume, A. Brusch, L. Lorini, P. O. Schmidt, T. M. Fortier, J. E. Stalnaker, S. A. Diddams, N. R. Newbury, W. C. Swann, W. H. Oskay, W. M. Itano, D. J. Wineland, and J. C. Bergquist, "Frequency comparison of Al+ and Hg+ optical standards," in Laser Spectroscopy, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference (ICOLS 2007), edited by L. Hollberg, J. Bergquist, and M. Kasevich (World Scientific, Singapore 2008) p. 297 - 302.

D. B. Hume, T. Rosenband, and D. J. Wineland, "High-fidelity adaptive qubit detection through repetitive quantum nondemolition measurements," Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 120502-1 - 120502-4 (2007).

T. Rosenband, P. O. Schmidt, D. B. Hume, W. M. Itano, T. M. Fortier, J. E. Stalnaker, K. Kim, S. A. Diddams, J. C. J. Koelemeij, J. C. Bergquist, and D. J. Wineland, "Observation of the 1S0 to 3P0 clock transition in 27Al+," Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 220801-1 - 220801-4 (2007).

D. J. Wineland, D. Leibfried, J. C. Bergquist, R. B. Blakestad, J. J. Bollinger, J. Britton, J. Chiaverini, R. J. Epstein, D. B. Hume, W. M. Itano, J. D. Jost, M. Knill, J. C. J. Koelemeij, C. Langer, R. Ozeri, R. Reichle, T. Rosenband, T. Schaetz, P. O. Schmidt, S. Seidelin, N. Shiga, and J. H. Wesenberg, "Trapped atomic ions and quantum information processing," in Atomic Physics 20, Proceedings of the International Conference (ICAP 2006), Innsbruck, Austria, 16-21 July 2006, edited by C. Roos, H. Haffner, and R. Blatt, AIP COnf. Proc. 869 (American Institute of Physics, 2006) p. 103 - 110.

T. Rosenband, W. M. Itano, P. O. Schmidt, D. B. Hume, J. C. J. Koelemeij, J. C. Bergquist, and D. J. Wineland, "Blackbody radiation shift of the 27Al+ 1S0 to 3P0 transition," in Proceedings of the 20th European Time and Frequency Forum, 2006, p. 289-291.

D. J. Wineland, J. C. Bergquist, T. Rosenband, P. O. Schmidt, W. M. Itano, J. J. Bollinger, D. Leibfried, and W. H. Oskay, "Ion optical clocks and quantum information processing," Proc. 2003 Joint Meeting IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium and EFTF Conference, 68-71 (2003).

D. J. Wineland, J. C. Bergquist, J. J. Bollinger, R. E. Drullinger, and W. M. Itano, "Quantum computers and atomic clocks," Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology, Edited by P. Gill (World Scientific, Singapore, 2002), p. 361-368.

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