For the Future of Quantum Technology

BeyondC research project with partners from Austria and Germany starts in March

March 01, 2019

The recently granted collaboration project “Quantum Information Systems Beyond Classical Capabilities (BeyondC)” coordinated by the University of Vienna will exploit the unique features of quantum science to go beyond the capabilities of classical technology. World-leading scientists from eleven research groups in Austria and one partner group at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany will combine their wide-ranging expertise to demonstrate quantum superiority by realizing the first medium-sized quantum information processing device.

The control of quantum systems is one of the most important and influential achievements of the twentieth century. In particular, quantum information theory has developed into a vast area of research and has achieved visibility far beyond its own boundaries. A prominent example is the intense research that, over the last decades, has led to quantum algorithms for quantum computation, simulation, and annealing. Furthermore, the tremendous progress has paved the way for protocols, sets of procedures for transmitting data between computers, for benchmarking and correcting computing errors as well as for proposals for classical and quantum machine learning. Despite these advances, current devices for quantum information processing can still be simulated classically. Hence, they do not yet offer any advantage compared to their classical counterparts. The realization of large-scale quantum devices, with their rich applications such as quantum computing and quantum simulation, requires further advances in quantum technology and strong theoretical support.

World-leading quantum scientists from Austria and Germany have joined forces to achieve the experimental regime of quantum systems for so-called quantum superiority, the ability of quantum computing devices to solve problems that their classical counterparts cannot. The recently granted Special Research Programme “Quantum Information Systems Beyond Classical Capabilities (BeyondC)” headed by Philip Walther from the University of Vienna is endowed with 5,3 M€ by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. In addition, the German Research Foundation (DFG) will contribute a total of 0,28 M€ to Ignacio Cirac's Theory Division at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), the partner group in Germany. The aim of the consortium is to develop and exploit new methods and tools to describe, characterize, validate, and manipulate quantum systems. New algorithms specifically designed to demonstrate quantum superiority with medium-sized quantum devices will be put forward. At the same time, the envisioned progress will allow novel realizations of applied quantum information processing taking us close to industrial applications.

What makes “BeyondC” unique is the diverse and interdisciplinary expertise in quantum information of its scientifically outstanding consortium which devotes itself to one common aim. In close collaboration, renowned quantum scientists from six experimental and six theoretical research groups based at the University of Vienna, the University of Innsbruck, IQOQI Innsbruck of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), IST Austria and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching, Germany, are set to realize a certified medium-sized quantum information processing device and to demonstrate quantum superiority.

The following three strands of research driven by the “BeyondC” consortium members currently lead the quantum information efforts and will be utilized for the intended investigations: photons, ions in ion traps and superconducting circuits. Moreover, combinations of these systems will be exploited with the goal of gaining control of larger systems and of connecting remote quantum devices. The consortium will step into new scientific territory by scaling platforms and validating their performance with novel theoretical schemes suitable for medium-scale quantum information processing. These research efforts will be complemented by feasibility studies on new methods serving as test-beds for mid-scale characterization and validation methods. The experiments will operate in the regime beyond the means of classical computers and have the potential to set scientific milestones in numerous research areas with applications in quantum many-body physics, chemistry and optimization problems.

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