JQI Scientists Monroe and Gorshkov are Part of a New, $15 Million NSF Quantum Computing Project

ion trapA fabricated trap that researchers use to capture and control atomic ion qubits (quantum bits). (Credit: K. Hudek/IonQ and E. Edwards/JQI)NSF has announced a $15 million award to a collaboration of seven institutions including the University of Maryland. The goal: Build the world’s first practical quantum computer.

"Quantum computers will change everything about the technology we use and how we use it, and we are still taking the initial steps toward realizing this goal," said NSF Director France Córdova. "Developing the first practical quantum computer would be a major milestone. By bringing together experts who have outlined a path to a practical quantum computer and supporting its development, NSF is working to take the quantum revolution from theory to reality."

Dubbed the Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design (STAQ) project, the new effort seeks to demonstrate a quantum advantage over traditional computers within five years using ion trap technology.

The project is the result of a National Science Foundation Ideas Lab—a week-long, free-form exchange among researchers from a wide range of fields that aims to spawn creative, collaborative proposals to address a given research challenge. The result of each Ideas Lab is interdisciplinary research that is high-risk, high-reward, cutting-edge and unlikely to be funded through traditional grant mechanisms.

JQI Fellow Christopher Monroe will lead the team developing the hardware. JQI Fellow Alexey Gorshkov will be involved in the theory side of the collaboration.

Text for this news item was adapted from the Duke University and NSF press releases on the award.

Christopher Monroe | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
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Davoudi Receives Ken Wilson Award

Assistant Professor Zohreh Davoudi has been honored with the 2018 Kenneth G. Wilson Award for Excellence in Lattice Field Theory during the 36th Annual International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory held July 22–28 at Michigan State University. Davoudi was cited for her fundamental contributions to lattice field theory in a finite volume that are essential for performing lattice simulations of complex systems.

The annual award is named after Nobel Laureate Ken Wilson (1936-2013), who founded lattice gauge theory in 1974, permitting such theories to be studied numerically using powerful computers. Established in 2011, the award recognizes outstanding lattice field theorists who are within seven years of completing the Ph.D., and consists of a modest monetary prize and an invitation to give a plenary talk at the next symposium on lattice field theory.

Davoudi’s significant contributions to formulating the path between quantities obtained in numerical simulations of lattice field theory in a finite spacetime and the physical observables have advanced the few-body frontier in lattice field theory. The cited work paved the road towards obtaining important quantities in particle and nuclear physics, such as two and three-body scattering amplitudes, bound-state properties, electromagnetic structure of hadrons and nuclei, coupled-channel scattering and reaction rates.

Davoudi received her Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics at the University of Washington, and held a postdoctoral position at the Center for Theoretical Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining UMD in 2017. She studies how complex systems of hadrons and nuclei emerge from fundamental interactions of nature using a combination of analytical and computational methods.

zohreh receiving Ken Wilson Lattice AwardPhoto courtesy of Lattice 2018. Christine Davies, University of Glasgow (left) Zohreh Davoudi, University of Maryland (right).

Complexity Test Offers New Perspective on Small Quantum Computers

State-of-the-art quantum devices are not yet large enough to be called full-scale computers. The biggest comprise just a few dozen qubits—a meager count compared to the billions of bits in an ordinary computer’s memory. But steady progress means that these machines now routinely string together 10 or 20 qubits and may soon hold sway over 100 or more.

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Chris Monroe Co-authors Piece on National Quantum Initiative - The Washington Times

Quantum technology harnesses the radical power of quantum systems — such as isolated atoms, photons and electrons — to transform how we process and communicate information. But that potential can be realized only if our nation’s resources are focused in a way that helps bring quantum research from the laboratory to the marketplace.

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