Kenneth R Brown


Michael J. Fitzpatrick Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Prof. Brown's research interest is the control of quantum systems for both understanding the natural world and developing new technologies. His current research areas are the development of robust quantum computers and the study of molecular properties at cold and ultracold temperatures.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Fitzpatrick Distinguished Professor of Engineering
  • Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Professor of Physics
  • Professor of Chemistry

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 701 W Main St, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27701
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 1376
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2003
  • B.S. University of Puget Sound, 1998

Research Interests

Quantum error correction, quantum control, quantum computer architecture, ion trap quantum computing, and the spectroscopy of sympathetically cooled molecular ions

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Stansell Family Distinguished Research Award. Pratt School of Engineering. 2020
  • Fellow. American Physical Society. 2018
  • Experienced Research Fellow. Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 2015
  • Kavli Fellow. Kavli Foundation and National Academy of Science. 2013

Courses Taught

  • PHYSICS 995: Graduate Training Internship
  • PHYSICS 628: Quantum Error Correction
  • PHYSICS 495: Thesis Independent Study
  • PHYSICS 493: Research Independent Study
  • HOUSECS 59: House Course
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • ECE 899: Special Readings in Electrical Engineering
  • ECE 891: Internship
  • ECE 621: Quantum Error Correction
  • ECE 520: Graduate Introduction to Quantum Engineering
  • ECE 494: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 493: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 420: Introduction to Quantum Engineering
  • ECE 391: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Debroy, DM; Li, M; Newman, M; Brown, KR, Stabilizer Slicing: Coherent Error Cancellations in Low-Density Parity-Check Stabilizer Codes., Physical review letters, vol 121 no. 25 (2018) [10.1103/physrevlett.121.250502] [abs].
  • Calvin, AT; Brown, KR, Spectroscopy of Molecular Ions in Coulomb Crystals., The journal of physical chemistry letters, vol 9 no. 19 (2018), pp. 5797-5804 [10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b01387] [abs].
  • Brown, NC; Brown, KR, Comparing Zeeman qubits to hyperfine qubits in the context of the
    surface code: 174Yb+ and 171Yb+
    , Phys. Rev. A, vol 97 (2018), pp. 052301-052301 [10.1103/PhysRevA.97.052301] [abs].
  • Trout, CJ; Li, M; Gutiérrez, M; Wu, Y; Wang, ST; Duan, L; Brown, KR, Simulating the performance of a distance-3 surface code in a linear ion trap, New Journal of Physics, vol 20 no. 4 (2018) [10.1088/1367-2630/aab341] [abs].
  • Calvin, AT; Janardan, S; Condoluci, J; Rugango, R; Pretzsch, E; Shu, G; Brown, KR, Rovibronic Spectroscopy of Sympathetically Cooled 40CaH+, The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol 122 no. 12 (2018), pp. 3177-3181 [10.1021/acs.jpca.7b12823] [abs].
  • Leung, PH; Landsman, KA; Figgatt, C; Linke, NM; Monroe, C; Brown, KR, Robust 2-Qubit Gates in a Linear Ion Crystal Using a Frequency-Modulated Driving Force., Physical review letters, vol 120 no. 2 (2018) [10.1103/physrevlett.120.020501] [abs].
  • Condoluci, J; Janardan, S; Calvin, AT; Rugango, R; Shu, G; Sherrill, CD; Brown, KR, Reassigning the CaH+ 11Σ → 21Σ vibronic transition with CaD., The Journal of chemical physics, vol 147 no. 21 (2017) [10.1063/1.5016556] [abs].
  • Linke, NM; Gutierrez, M; Landsman, KA; Figgatt, C; Debnath, S; Brown, KR; Monroe, C, Fault-tolerant quantum error detection., Science advances, vol 3 no. 10 (2017) [10.1126/sciadv.1701074] [abs].
  • Li, M; Gutiérrez, M; David, SE; Hernandez, A; Brown, KR, Fault tolerance with bare ancillary qubits for a [[7,1,3]] code, Physical Review A, vol 96 no. 3 (2017) [10.1103/PhysRevA.96.032341] [abs].
  • Rugango, R; Calvin, AT; Janardan, S; Shu, G; Brown, KR, Vibronic Spectroscopy of Sympathetically Cooled CaH., Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry, vol 17 no. 22 (2016), pp. 3764-3768 [10.1002/cphc.201600645] [abs].
  • Brown, KR; Kim, J; Monroe, C, Co-designing a scalable quantum computer with trapped atomic ions, npj Quantum Information, vol 2 no. 1 (2016) [10.1038/npjqi.2016.34] [abs].