Marshall Stoneham is Emeritus Massey Professor of Physics at University College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and also of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Physics. Before joining UCL in 1995, he was the Chief Scientist of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, which involved him in many areas of science and technology, from quantum diffusion to nuclear safety. He was awarded the Guthrie gold medal of the Institute of Physics in 2006, and the Royal Society’s Zeneca Prize in 1995. He is the author of over 500 papers, and of a number of books, including Theory of Defects in Solids, now an Oxford Classic, and The Wind Ensemble Sourcebook that won the 1997 Oldman Prize. Marshall Stoneham is based in the London Centre for Nanotechnology, where he finds the scope for new ideas especially stimulating. His scientific interests range from new routes to solid-state quantum computing through materials modeling to biological physics, where his work on the interaction of small scent molecules with receptors has attracted much attention. He is the co-founder of two physics-based firms.
Creating a practical solid-state quantum computer is seriously hard. Getting such a computer to operate at room temperature is even more challenging. Is such a quantum computer possible at all? If so, which schemes might have a chance of success?