Abstract: Advances in measurement and control of quantum systems that have been achieved over the last several decades were recognized with the Nobel prize this year. For the non-specialist I'll give a brief overview of what has been done, how they did it, and why many people consider this important. I will then present some of our current research, which combines coherent and dissipative dynamics to forge a powerful mechanism for generating entanglement. Detailed calculations with Rydberg atoms predict strong entanglement at distance scales that greatly exceed what can be achieved with coherent dynamics alone. Applications to finding ground states of many-body spin Hamiltonians will also be mentioned.