October 15, 2018

Purdue researchers advance quantum science national agenda

Purdue University faculty receives significant federal funding to advance quantum science

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Quantum computing has been identified as a key technology for the United States by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and in late September, the NSTC released a report, "National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science."

Researchers at Purdue University are spearheading some of the quantum computing research projects outlined in the report and working to broaden U.S. leadership in quantum information science and technology.

The document provides a roadmap for national success, and it is being coordinated by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Their focus is on supporting basic research and the need for tight integration of basic research and engineering to create practical quantum computers and other quantum information systems.

As a leading federal funder of quantum research, the NSF recently awarded $31 million for new projects that bridge disciplines and result in new technologies.  Two of these NSF projects in quantum science are led by Purdue faculty — Andrew Weiner, the Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Sunil Bhave, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Both projects are part of the NSF Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems effort.

Weiner received $1 million for his study of “High Dimensional Frequency Bin Entanglement - Photonic Integration and Algorithms.” His work concentrates on the use of “qudits,” higher-dimensional units of quantum information. Research conducted at Purdue discovered that high-dimensional quantum information can be encoded and entangled (linked) in optical frequency, leading to new opportunities for quantum information processing based on qudits. The outcome of this research will be to develop integrated photonics chips that will be able to perform more complex and potentially useful operations.

Bhave was awarded $1 million for his research on “RAISE-TAQS: Multifunctional Hybrid Quantum Systems for Spin-Based Quantum Control and Metrology.” Bhave’s team will study enhancing the control of a quantum mechanical signal through reservoir engineering, which offers the opportunity of enhanced control by utilizing the environmental noise of the surroundings.    

Purdue University researchers also received two awards from the DOE Office of Science as part of an effort to fund 85 new awards totaling $218 million over three years. Luis Martin Kruczenski, professor of physics and astronomy, received a $330,000 award funded by the High Energy Physics Office for “Quantum Information in a strongly interacting quantum simulator: from gauge/string theory duality to analogue black holes.” The project intends to develop and utilize a combination of theoretical high-energy techniques based on string theory, quantum field theory and conformal field theory, and apply them to strongly coupled quantum systems that can actually be built in the lab using experimental resources available at Purdue.

Sabre Kais, professor of chemical physics and professor of computer science received nearly $2.5 million from Basic Energy Sciences for “Quantum Computing Algorithms and Applications for Coherent and Strongly Correlated Chemical Systems.”  This project focuses on developing algorithms for open quantum systems, creating molecules and materials that are easier to manipulate — especially those that can efficiently transfer and store energy and information — while maintaining coherent control of reactants, a great challenge in quantum chemistry.

“We are extremely proud of our talented faculty and students who are advancing our knowledge in quantum science,” said Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships. “Notably, Michael Manfra, the Bill and Dee O'Brien Chair Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Professor of Materials Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is part of a long-term enhanced collaboration between Purdue and Microsoft Corp. to build a robust and scalable quantum computer.

“Purdue is poised and prepared to build the needed partnerships with government and industry to advance this critical technology.” 

Media contact: Steve Tally, 765-494-9809, steve@purdue.edu, @sciencewriter 

Source: Suresh Garimella, 765-494-6209, sureshg@purdue.edu, @svgrarimella

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