A Quantum Leap for Quantum Computing: Journey by Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics) from CCS to Harvard

January 30, 2024

Dolev remembers CCS experience, delves into Harvard Quantum breakthroughs

Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)
Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

Upon reflection of his CCS experience, a central theme stands out for Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics): the College’s collaborative environment. Now, as a graduate student in Physics at Harvard University, Dolev and his team of fellow researchers leverage these collaborative tactics to push the boundaries of quantum exploration. In a recent conversation, Dolev delves into his latest quantum achievements, reminisces about his time at CCS, and imparts valuable advice to budding student scholars. 

Reflections of CCS and UCSB

Dolev’s CCS experience instilled in him the fundamental values of teamwork and engagement with fellow undergraduates, providing a solid foundation for his future endeavors. 

“I wouldn't have been able to do any of my recent projects without extreme collaboration with amazing scientists––both at Harvard and elsewhere.”

––Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

Additionally, the Harvard doctoral student attributes his success to the rigorous research training he received at CCS and UCSB, acknowledging CCS Physics Faculty Tengiz Bibilashvili and L&S Physics Faculty Ania Bleszynski Jayich. Dolev notes, “I left with many new ideas about the world and how to collaborate with people, as well as how to manage research projects and have the mindset of a serious researcher”.

Dolev recalls a particularly impactful method of learning at CCS: working through problem sets without referencing the solutions manual. He recollects, “People often ask how this style of learning possibly worked, and they are amazed when I tell them the answer is through teamwork. When multiple people are working towards the same five problems, odds are that each person can contribute a different piece of knowledge, ultimately giving you the full picture”.

“My interaction with Dolev began when I was recruiting my incoming freshmen class during the winter and spring of 2015. When I asked him about his interest in physics, he expressed a keen desire to delve into the realm of something QUANTUM. This initial passion has endured, and his dedication to understanding quantum phenomena has only deepened over the years. Even now, with his works gaining recognition worldwide, Dolev continues to embody the curiosity of a kid eager to explore the intricacies of QUANTUM.”

––Tengiz Bibilashvili, CCS Physics Faculty

Beyond the academic realm, Dolev cherishes the friendships formed during his time at the College. The tight-knit community, collaborative atmosphere, and shared passion for academic exploration created a unique environment. The CCS alumnus reflects nostalgically on CCS as a hub for discussing research, solving problems, and fostering a genuine love for learning.

“The College’s little yellow building was full of so many treasures. In one room, someone is playing the piano. Next door, a student is painting a portrait or discussing scientific research. It’s all pretty amazing”.

––Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

Harvard Breakthroughs in Quantum Computing

Since beginning his journey at Harvard, Dolev and a team of fellow graduate research students have broken down barriers for university student researchers by establishing a new leading approach to error-corrected Quantum Computing. The team's recent publication in Nature highlights their achievement of creating 48 error-corrected qubits with several hundred operations, marking a significant leap towards realizing large-scale quantum computers––a feat previously considered fundamentally impossible to build before the invention of error correction. To accomplish this, the team uses beams of light to trap individual atoms, which can then be used to interact with each other in order to process quantum information. 

“Looking into the coming years, there’s a real opportunity to create a path towards a large-scale quantum computer, with the capability to do billions of complex operations. It’s exciting that just a few graduate students can achieve what has been previously limited to large quantum computing corporations, simply by leveraging a few discoveries we've made in the past 2 years”.

––Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

Dolev hopes this accomplishment will be replicated and built on by other graduate students, leveling the field for university scholars to join the journey towards large-scale quantum systems and explore a wider range of research questions. In contemplating the broader implications of their work, Dolev sees their accomplishments as just one link in a chain of quantum discoveries still to come, with the goal of solving real-world challenges.

“There is a vision that Quantum systems can make the world better. This goal is not a competition––it’s a collaboration. We're collectively building controlled quantum systems with the potential to answer questions about the universe. To make this a reality, we should be looking to create as many breakthroughs as possible”.

––Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

Back to UCSB Roots

Dolev recently returned to UCSB for a Physics Colloquium in December of 2023 and hopes to continue to engage with his alma mater.

“CCS and the University hold a special place in my heart–– I’m struck by the engaging culture and remarkable research projects conducted by undergraduate students. Everyone is passionate and collaborative, which fuels academic exploration.”

––Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

As advice to aspiring student scholars, Dolev emphasizes the importance of building collaborations, keeping a positive attitude, and asking big-picture questions.

“Young researchers should ask themselves: why are we doing what we’re doing? Is this the right thing for us to be doing?”

––Dolev Bluvstein ‘19 (CCS Physics)

Read more about Dolev and his CCS and UCSB experiences:

Meet Dolev Bluvstein (CCS Physics student)

CCS Physics Student Will Attend Nobel Laureate Meeting

CCS Students Receive National Level Awards

Research Pairs

CCS congratulates Dolev on his recent breakthroughs. Dolev’s journey as an undergraduate at CCS directly to his pursuit of a Ph.D. at Harvard exemplifies the transformative power of collaboration, rigorous training, and a passion for exploration.