Jeff Kimble stands tall


Jeff Kimble played college basketball. I conjecture that he is more than two meters tall, though being a theorist I have never measured him. Jeff certainly stands tall in the Pantheon of outstanding physicists, and we at Quantum Frontiers were thrilled to hear that Jeff has received the 2013 Herbert Walther Award, which is very well deserved.

About four years ago, Jeff gave a public lecture at Caltech about “The Quantum Internet,” and I had the honor of introducing him. The video of Jeff’s lecture and my introduction are available for free at iTunes U, or by clicking on the embedded video below. You’ll have to watch the video to hear all the Buddy Holly references in my introduction (Jeff and Buddy come from the same county in Texas). Jeff’s lecture was memorable, too, featuring a dance performance by his research group.



One of my most annoying quirks is that I like to use poems to introduce people, so I wrote one to fit the topic of the lecture. Among many other achievements, Jeff’s group has done pioneering experiments distributing quantum entanglement among multiple nodes in a quantum network, which is probably all you need to know to understand the poem.

Fluorescence image of four laser-cooled atomic ensembles, each used as a quantum node in an entanglement distribution experiment by the Kimble group.

Fluorescence image of four laser-cooled atomic ensembles, each used as a quantum node in an entanglement distribution experiment by the Kimble group.

Listening to one of my poems tends to make the audience uncomfortable (which I’ve been told is a sign that it’s good poetry). But Jeff did not seem to mind the poem too much, so I will seize the opportunity to post it here to commemorate the occasion.

Congratulations, Jeff!

The Quantum Internet

Professor HJ Kimble
Is much larger than a thimble
And a veritable symbol
Of the physicist today.

Could it be prodigious height
Explains his knack for squeezing light
Or is Jeff’s mind extremely bright?
I guess that’s hard to say…

Jeff wants to build a quantum net
It seems quite hard, but still I bet
Someday we’ll get there, just not yet.
There’ll be a slight delay.

At least they’ve made a quantum node,
That’s a start along the road.
They showed a photon could be stowed
And then released. Okay?

Jeff’s students stay up very late
And try to share a quantum state
Between two nodes. But when you wait
Entanglement decays.

Once entanglement is strong
And they can make it last quite long
One node could be inside Hong Kong
The other in Bombay.

And once the quantum net’s begun
We’re going to have a lot of fun
Exploiting work that Jeff has done
Hear what he has to say!

2 thoughts on “Jeff Kimble stands tall

  1. Pingback: Stephen Hawking wins $3M Milner Prize | Quantum Frontiers

  2. Pingback: Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller get what they deserve | Quantum Frontiers

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